Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cape Cod's Local Wild Jams and Jellies

 This trip to Cape Cod, we kept running into local jams and jellies.  Not just your typical tourist jams but real, homemade, from domestic and wild fruits both.  We finally succumbed.
Massachusetts is one of a handful of states that allows people to make jams and jellies in their homes and sell to the public.  Two of these places deserve mention.
On our trip to Chatham to try to see the sharks, we had a sweet surprise - the Chatham Jam and Jelly Shop and its free samples.  This website gies a bit of the history of jam/jelly making in Cape Cod.
The friendly owners had an array of open jars ready for the tasting, and we dug right in.  First to be sampled were beach plum jellies, both the red type and the rarer yellow beach plum.  We remember picking sand plums when living years ago in Kansas, and these were similar.  Wild plums, tart but tasty, these did not disappoint.
We expanded our tasting.  This shop makes various wild jams and jellies.  As they explain on their website:
"Locally picked fruits include: the native Wild Beach Plum, the Beach Rose, Garden Mint, Blueberries, Blackberries, Elderberries, Wine Raspberries, Peaches, Pears, Cranberries, Concord Grape, Wild Grape, Wild Cherry, and Tomatoes."
The Tomato and Basil jelly was delicious and unique but we finally settled
 on a jam called Friendship Jam, consisting of pineapple, wild beach plum juice, sugar and pectin.

The other jam and jelly place worth mentioning was the Green Briar Jam Kitchen in East Sandwich.  This kitchen featured solar cooked jams and jellies.  Honestly, if they had offered samples, we probably would have bought there too.  These jams have to be used quickly so we didn't buy much, but we will look out for these if we ever go back to Cape Cod.

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