Top Pick Of The Week

August 11, 2009

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Raspberry Jam

Raspberry jam, made from ripe local fruit at the peak of the season. All photography by Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Small batch artisan condiments: chutneys, conserves, jams, salsas and more.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Made from fresh seasonal produce grown on Long Island and in the greater New York area.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Some incredible products are done to perfection (see photo above).

Paumanok Preserves
Page 2: Savory Gelées & Conserve

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Paumanok Preserves

When you look at the offerings at Paumanok Preserves, you would think that Joan Bernstein never sleeps. How could such a tiny artisan operation produce so many chutneys, fruit butters, jams, marmalades, pepper jellies, salsas, sauces, savory jellies and wine jellies?

If passion is a motivator, you can taste it in every jar. We tasted only a dozen or so of the 40 or so products she has lovingly handcrafted, but were immediately enthralled with the more unusual items.

Because, with 40 well-made products, you have to make hard selections somewhere. So we’ll leave you to select your favorite jams and jellies. If you’re a strawberry-rhubarb fan or a cherry marmalade connoisseur, those probably have your name on them. And you’ll want to give the limited edition Golden Raspberry Jam a try, if there’s any left to be had.


Onion Conserve
The splendid Incredible Onion Conserve is not being self-promoting; one taste and you’ll be piling on the superlatives, too. Serve it with eggs, meat and fish, put it on a sandwich, make gourmet pizza.

When Joan Bernstein’s family first started to farm on Long Island, there were few commercially bottled foods such as jam on the shelves of local grocery stores, and out-of-season produce wasn’t transported from the other hemisphere—it was canned. Housewives still made their own jelly and preserves—no easy task, it’s still tricky stuff! But mastering the craft is just part of the formula; you still need the great produce and recipes to produce great products. Paumanok Preserves has fully solved the equation.

But today, we’re going to guide you to the savory products, our favorite wine jelly and a memorable chutney and salsa, so that you can experience, as we did, the absolute joy of preserved food as one rarely stumbles across it.

Savory Jellies & Conserve

Who says that you have to put fruit jelly on your morning toast? If you like onions, garlic and horseradish, why not put those jellies—wisely called here by the French word, gelée, so as to expand the creative possibilities in the mind of the consumer—to work, morning, noon and night?

The savories are both sweet and savory, like pepper jelly is sweet and hot, so they provide the sweetness one seeks on one’s morning bread, as well as some substantive flavor. By the same token, they provide an excellent garnish to hot and cold meats and seafood: on a sandwich, atop a chop or fish fillet, as a condiment on a plate (where they glisten, jewel-like—see the photo on Page 1).

Gracious Garlic Gelée, Haughty Horseradish Gelée (actually, it’s as gracious as the garlic) and Incredible Onion Conserve are among our favorite products of the year. (For the difference between a gelée, or jelly, and a conserve, check our Jam & Jelly Glossary.)

  • Gracious Garlic Gelée is an elegant expression of garlic (you can kiss to your heart’s delight after eating it)—a bit of sweetness, a bit of vinegar, a lot of fresh garlic flavor, and magical citrus undertones, although there is no citrus involved. Use as a bread spread (it will give new meaning to “garlic toast”), stir it into mayonnaise for a sauce or sandwich spread, serve it as a condiment with anything from grilled vegetables and steamed asparagus to mashed and roasted potatoes—or slip some into the top of a baked potato.
Garlic Gelee
Gracious Garlic Gelée adds shimmer and shine on the palate as well as to the eye.
  • Haughty Horseradish Gelée, ditto. You’ll love it on roast beef, poultry and ham sandwiches,  by itself or layered with Dijon mustard.
  • Incredible Onion Conserve, ditto. Caramelized sweet onions with caraway seeds will turn any sandwich into something that would win a Top Chef Quickfire Challenge and get added to Tom Colicchio’s menu at ‘Witchcraft. Just the scent of it is a pleasure; the crunchy texture adds an extra layer to heaven. At breakfast, this conserve rocks with the ham and eggs as well as the toast. You can spread it on top of grilled protein like a savory frosting, or dribble it on a white pizza. It has so many uses—you can spoon it into tiny tart shells for hors d’oeuvres or mix it with egg yolks to make awesome deviled eggs—that we wonder why there isn’t more onion conserve available on specialty store shelves.

Don’t deny yourself the pleasure. These connoisseur condiments go with almost any food you can name (O.K., maybe there are better matches for pasta, but we’d serve them with just about anything else, including rice and potatoes).

Continue To Page 3: Chutney, Conserve & Salsa

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