On Friday, January 13th, our Wild Thimbleberry Jam was named a 2012 Good Food Awards Winner! We spent a gorgeous weekend in San Francisco attending a variety of Good Food Awards events and meeting dedicated food artisans from all over the country. Culinary Director Chris Dettmer proudly accepted the award on behalf of American Spoon on Friday night, and we were inspired by Ruth Reichl’s heartfelt keynote address at the awards ceremony. On Saturday, we set up a small table at the iconic Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and spent the day sharing tastes of our Wild Thimbleberry Jam with hundreds of good-food-loving local and visitors, most of whom had never heard of a wild thimbleberry before. Jars of this quintessentially northern jam made their way home with folks who fell in love with our beguiling wild berry, including Alice Waters herself, who tasted a spoonful and said, “Oh, I have to have it.”
The thimbleberry is a beguilingly tart, aromatic fruit that grows wild in northern climates, thriving in areas with cool summer temperatures. The large, velvety berries have a tangy taste reminiscent of currants and rasperries, with soft seeds that release their nutty flavor when chewed. Wild thimbleberries are beloved by both bears and humans, and for decades, we’ve worked with a handful of families in the Keweenaw Peninsula who beat the bears to the berries for us every year. In our kitchen, we prepare the scarlet berries by hand and carefully preserve them in our copper kettles using twice as much fruit as sugar.
We’re honored to be recognized for our long-standing commitment to capturing the singular flavors of exceptional fruits and for helping to sustain dedicated growers and foragers in rural communities across Northern Michigan. We’re so pleased that we had the opportunity to share our rare wild thimbleberry with such a devoted group of food artisans and aficionados, and we’re proud to be a part of this growing good food community.