Ridiculously good jams and preserves from small farms in Oregon

By Hannah Howard

Oregon Growers co-founder Dave Gee left the trenches of the restaurant biz and headed to the Pacific Northwest in pursuit of the great outdoors, the big green spaces—and the produce. He chose well: The Hood River Valley is one of the world’s most beautiful, bountiful places, full of prolific farms, orchards, and wineries.

Oregon Growers’ jams and preserves are crafted with fruit from local, sustainable family farms—apples and pears from Wells & Sons Farms, marionberries and strawberries from the Willamette Valley Fruit Company, and more—and very little else. Raw, unfiltered honey comes from the busy bees of the nearby Columbia River Gorge. Fruit butters, especially the ones made in collaboration with Dragonfly Chai and spiked with cardamom, ginger, clove, and black pepper, are so silky and satisfying that it’s a challenge to not devour the whole jar straight from a spoon, without even sitting down first. We won’t judge.

Word on the Street
  • The Seattle Times gave a shout-out to the pear-hazelnut and strawberry–pinot noir jams in their gourmet gift guide, also raving about the blue pine box (made from standing dead timber) that the jams come in.
  • ”The Editor’s Dozen” feature in Cooking Light highlighted the pear-hazelnut fruit pâte, as well as the quince and strawberry-fig flavors.

Think beyond toast: ideas for putting Oregon Growers goodies to delicious use

Swirl chai-spiced pumpkin butter into vanilla ice cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce for an awesome sundae.

Take a tart shell and fill it with red raspberry jam and fresh berries. Dessert is served!

Bake a brie—and watch it disappear. Top a wheel with a few spoonfuls of black cherry jam, wrap the whole thing in phyllo or puff pastry, and bake at 400 degrees.

Serve pear-hazelnut fruit pâte with cheese and crackers—its nutty sweetness makes a spot-on pairing for a wide variety of cheeses. Honeycomb also makes an elegant accompaniment to cheese.

Use wildflower honey in a hot toddy to warm up a cold night. Mix honey, boiling water, and whiskey in a mug. Add a few cloves, a cinnamon stick, and a slice of lemon. Let all those great flavors mingle for a few minutes, then sip away. Cheers!