by Kate Malin
In the quest to create the perfect berry for commercial growth, researchers at Oregon State University bred, tested, and discarded many berries that were not quite right. They eventually landed on the Marionberry as the best of the bunch and forgot about the rest. Lucky for jam lovers everywhere, the undergraduate student who was working on the experimental Pacific Berry, a cross between a Wild Mountain Blackberry and a Logan Berry, could not bear to uproot his plants, so he took them home and planted them. His Pacific Berry bushes quietly flourished for decades until 2011 when Republic of Jam founder Lynnette Shaw tried the berries and knew she had tasted something special. Republic of Jam now buys and preserves the world’s entire crop of Pacific Berries.
Preserving in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, Lynette and her team use traditional European techniques and primarily local produce to craft a huge range of vibrant and intensely flavorful jams. Even among so many stellar jams, the Pacific Berry stands out. The rich, tart yet sweet flavors and perfect gooey consistency beg to be spread over a warm buttery biscuit or, as Lynnette recommends, on toast with fresh ricotta and a dash of finishing salt. The jams are all significantly lower in sugar than commercial brands, so the full taste of the fresh local fruit in the jars is what always shines through.
Republic of Jam Pacific Berry Jam is available at republicofjam.com. Republic of Jam is part of the Good Food Awards, a project to honor food and drink producers making the sort of food we all want to eat – tasty, authentic and responsible, and a proud member of the Good Food Merchants Guild, national association uniting American craft food businesses to connect, convene and promote Good Food businesses of all sizes.
From her grassroots work at the Good Food Awards to her continued education at NYU’s Food Studies Master’s Program, Kate Malin brings an unparalleled passion for great food and good people.
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