Updated: Jan 14
Ah, peppers…that ubiquitous spice that has found its way into our every day culinary life. We’ve tried peppers on everything from tomato juice to the most complicated dishes served in five star restaurants. Peppers have now found their way into many products as an infusion. One of the most popular peppers to infuse with is the jalapeño. What makes them so popular? Compared to other chillies, the jalapeño heat level varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation and can have between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units. As the peppers ripen, their pungency increases, making red jalapeños to be generally hotter than green jalapeños, at least of the same variety. This flexibility in flavor profile makes jalapeños an ever-popular infusion ingredient.
For example, we have seen jalapeño infused chocolate, tequila, olive oil, and honey just to name a few. One day in 2011 however, Julia Stewart, through the introduction of a family friend, was introduced to jalapeño pepper jam. Being somewhat of a jam expert herself, Julia took her secret family jam recipe and handcrafted her own version of jalapeño infused pepper jam. The result was nothing short of spectacular!
In 2012, Julia and her husband Mike were selling her secret family jam, now infused with jalapeño peppers, at local Christmas and holiday craft fairs. If you were to ask what goes into their jam recipe, they would say that it’s very simple. They use quality ingredients and do not mass-produce. In fact, the recipe is so simple that the only fitting name for the new company was, Simply Jam.
By the end of 2012 and into 2013, Julia and Mike had tweaked their jam recipe and were not only selling at local Christmas and holiday craft fairs, but also started selling to local farms and festivals. Like a 10,000 Scoville unit jalapeño pepper, the jam caught on like wildfire! So popular in fact, has Simply Jam become, that it is now featured in several local grocery stores in Western Connecticut and Eastern New York state. Most recently, Simply Jam has been awarded space in 3 Big Y supermarkets in Avon, Plainville and Torrington.
Simply Jam is truly a family affair. So much so, that as they have grown, they have enlisted the help of their son-in-law, Russ. Thanks to Russ and his marketing expertise, Simply Jam can now expand into even more locations. One thing that will never change however, is the love affair Mike, Julia and Russ have for making jam. Due to its ever increasing demand, Simply Jam now offers six varieties; Regular, Hot, Extra Hot, Cranberry, Mint and Garlic. You will often hear them say, “Just as we fell in love with this unique jam, it is our hope that you will too!”
For more information about Simply Jam, please visit our website at, www.simplyjam.net or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/simplyjalapenojam.