White Wood Farms Jelly and Preserves
I've begun volunteering at the Saturday Crescent City Famer's Market, here in New Orleans The vibrant market returned with a vengeance after Katrina, and now hosts a wide range of vendors, selling a remarkable variety of local products and foods. Saturday market offerings may include fresh brown shrimp, locally grown okra, fresh jalapeno-cheese tamales, delicious Mediterrenean dishes, sustainably reared beef, and a profusion of other products. Best of all: a trip to the market translates into support for the foodways and food producers of Louisiana, providing a way for these traditions and tastes to continue into the future. Sounds like a pretty delicious deal to me.
I'm going to be profiling some of the producers and artisans who sell their products at the Market here on Teenage Chowhound. Check back often.
Anita Deboisblanc of White Wood Farm's Jelly and Preserves is a maven of all things fruity, delicious, and spreadable-on-toast. Her Saturday stand features an incredible array of local preserves, jams, jellies and sauces. Deboisblance doesn't shy away from the unusual, either. Scuppernong jelly, sweet Creole tomato jam, and mayhaw (hawthorne fruit) jelly are all on offer, and certainly worth a try for the adventurous palate.
Deboisblanc also offers decadent ice cream toppers - think Chocolate City Raspberry and Strawberry spreads - and a totally unique spicy apple BBQ sauce, made of fresh apples, peppers, honey, and a blend of herbs and spices. Good luck finding this stuff anywhere else, and in any other state!
I'm particularly fond of her flavorful fig preserves, which are just the thing for spooning over yogurt, oatmeal, or pancakes. And I've got my eye on those blueberry sage preserves. Yum.
I recently asked Deboisblanc, "So what's the difference between jelly and jam anyway?"
Jelly is smooth and does not contain any visible pieces of fruit, as it is made from fruit juioce. Jam has a thicker consistency, and is made from crushed or ground fruit. Preserves are made from cooking large pieces of fruit in a sugar syrup.
So now you know! Come out and see for yourself at next Saturday's Farmer's Market. Girod and Magazine, 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
ADDENDUM: Seriously, what's up with mayhaws?
My grandfather is a native of Mendon, Louisiana, and remembers eating mayhaw jelly when he was a kid. The mayhaw is a fruit of the hawthorn plant, and favors warm and swampy regions. The vibrant little red fruits attract a certain following among old-school foodies around Louisiana and the Southern USA, and they are finding their way onto the menus of some old-South restaurants. I suggest sampling these tart little jewels wherever and whenever you find em'.