Archive for the ‘Product Stories’ Category

15 June 2013 by megan@spoon

What’s hot this summer?

What's hot this summer? Our new Chili Jam, a sophisticated take on sriracha! #newfromourkitchen #savoryjam #spicespicebaby

Our new Chili Jam, a sophisticated take on sriracha!

9 June 2011 by megan@spoon

Rhubarb-Hibiscus Conserve

Rhubarb grows like crazy throughout the upper Midwest—in long, tidy rows on rural farms, in ruffled red and green clusters by barns and backyard fences, and in scrappy patches at the edges of alleys. Wherever it grows, it grows in abundance. Midwestern homesteaders dubbed it “pie plant” and revered rhubarb for its thrillingly acid flavor. The allure of rhubarb is timeless. We modern-day Midwesterners still revel each spring in the arrival of this vegetable whose vibrant crimson stalks we treat as fruit.

There is always pie, but this Spring there’s also an incredibly beautiful Rhubarb-Hibiscus Conserve. Last week, our friends at Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs harvested 1400 pounds of their field-grown rhubarb for us. Less than twenty four hours later it was simmering away in our copper kettles. We macerated chopped chunks of this lovely rhubarb in Michigan beet sugar and combined the resulting juice with a tea made from dried hibiscus flowers to create the ruby red syrup in which the delicious chunks are preserved. Hibiscus and rhubarb share a similar tartness, but while rhubarb has a bold, flashy astringency, hibiscus is much more subtle, with lovely floral undercurrents that soften and mellow the sharp acid of our puckery pie plant.

Our Rhubarb-Hibiscus Conserve captures the first harvest of the season in all its zippy, zingy wonder and enhances it with the lingering floral notes of tropical hibiscus. It’s wonderful with freshly whipped cream or triple crème brie, and best of all, it marks the beginning of another summer filled with the exceptional fruits of this special place.

Available online now and in stores on Monday.

21 December 2010 by megan@spoon

Winter Milk Caramel

Twenty years ago, there were eighteen family dairy farms in Northern Michigan’s Kalkaska County.  Today there is one.  Shetler Family Dairy is a tiny operation by modern standards, but the Shetlers produce milk the old fashioned way.  They tend to a small herd of about 35 dairy cows — Guernseys and Jerseys and big Brown Swiss — happy, healthy cows who spend the warm months lolling in grassy pastures and the colder months nibbling hay in the shelter of a large barn.  No herbicides, no pesticides, no antibiotics, no growth hormones;  just grass and hay and a bit of grain.

These cows produce the pure, creamy, full-flavored milk that inspired our decadently delicious Winter Milk Caramel.  We start with eight gallons of Shetler’s whole milk, then sweeten it with Michigan beet sugar.  As the milk reduces in the kettle, it’s steeped in mahlab, an exotic spice with a surprisingly familiar scent.  Mahlab is made from the seed kernels of wild black cherries, and their cherry-sweet aroma and almond-like flavor meld beautifully with the creamy richness of dairy.

The sweetened milk simmers in our kettles for hours until it’s shiny and silky and deeply caramelized and amazing, a thick, richly sweet sauce infused with the soft almond notes of cherry kernels.  Drizzle it in ribbons over ice cream or cookies or cakes, spread it on bread or toast, spoon it over pancakes and waffles, or really — who are we kidding here? — eat it straight from the jar, savoring it in small sensuous spoonfuls until it becomes necessary to lick the inside of the jar clean.  Because seriously, it’s that good.

6 December 2010 by megan@spoon

New Gifts for the Holidays

Most of our customers discovered American Spoon the day they walked into one of our stores, and for many of you, the connection to that experience and to this special place is as important as the delicious jams and savories you sampled around our tasting table.  This holiday season, we’re delighted to offer four new gifts, filled with the bounty of Michigan’s Northern Fruitlands, that honor these connections.

For our impressive Buy the Store gift, we selected an exciting array of store favorites that will fill your gift recipient’s pantry with flavor for months to come.  Bestselling classics like Sour Cherry Preserves, Early Glow Strawberry Preserves and Pumpkin Butter are nestled into our handmade wooden crate alongside beloved rarities like Wild Thimbleberry Jam and savory staples like Cherry Peach Salsa and Maple BBQ Grilling Sauce. This is a genuinely spectacular gift filled to the brim with so much of what people love about American Spoon.

Our Fruits of Michigan gift harkens back to the early days of American Spoon, when fresh fruit was delivered to the back door of our tiny Petoskey store and transformed into preserves right there on East Lake Street.  As the kettles boiled, customers were drawn in through the screen door by the fruity aromas wafting out into the Lake Michigan breezes.  But when they studied the shelves, we could sense their hesitation.  Desperate to promote our beloved fruits, we put a table in the middle of our store, popped open jars of our preserves and placed them on the table with spoons and crackers for tasting.  Customers tasted, exclaimed their approval, then gathered around to share their favorites and their memories, and that Tasting Table became the key to our approach to introducing customers to the finest fruits we could find.  The Fruits of Michigan includes those favorite preserves that first won local fame around our Tasting Table.  For all the words we might use to describe our Fruit Preserves, nothing speaks as eloquently as a simple spoonful.

It’s nearly impossible to think of Michigan without also thinking of cherries.  Cherry orchards line the shore of Lake Michigan from Benton Harbor to Charlevoix, and so many of our customers have such fond memories of their time spent here in Cherry Country.  Celebrate that bountiful Cherry Country summer with this memorable assortment of our most beloved cherry products. Cherry lovers will delight in sampling Michigan’s most famous fruit throughout the day — Sour Cherry Preserves or Spoon Fruit on toast for breakfast, Cherry Peach Salsa with lunch, Fruit Perfect Sour Cherries dropped into an evening cocktail, or Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce at dinner. Cherry Country Memories, our varied and unique collection of authentically delicious tart cherry products is a gift they won’t forget.

Treat your favorite morning person to a winter of delicious breakfasts with our Michigan Mornings basket.  The Tinker family of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been handcrafting beautiful rustic birch bark baskets for generations.  What could be a more appropriate vessel for holding the bounty of Northern Michigan than this beloved symbol of the Northwoods?  Filled with breakfast favorites handmade in our own Petoskey kitchen, this basket is a sight to behold and a pleasure to receive.  Our hearty Buckwheat Pancake Mix accompanied by luscious Fruitlands toppings, Michigan Maple Cream and tangy Dried Red Tart Cherries makes for luxuriously memorable mornings.

It’s the pleasure we take in giving to others that makes this such a special time of year.  Delight everyone on your list with these beautifully packaged tastes of the Northern Fruitlands.  Happy giving!

1 December 2010 by megan@spoon

Wordless Wednesday: Northern Michigan Creamed Raw Honey

Back in stock! →