Calling on the jammiest jams and most mouthwatering marmalades, the Good Food Awards will be handed out to the tastiest sweet preserves made with fruits that are non-GMO, free of synthetic inputs and responsibly foraged.
The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the preserves community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the preserves standard are and who will be judging this year.
Director of Culinary Development at Thistle – San Francisco, CA
Christina is the Director of Culinary Development at Thistle, where she and her team work on researching, developing and launching hundreds of new dishes every year, with a focus on highlighting and preserving fruits and vegetables at their peak of seasonality.
Mei Ling Hui
Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens Program Manager at San Francisco Park and Recreation Department – San Francisco, CA
In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, preserves entries must meet the following standards:
- Made in the USA or US territories.
- Free of artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
- Free of genetically modified ingredients, including GM pectin.
- Made with ingredients that are foraged or grown:
- With respect for seasonality.
- Without the use of synthetic inputs including herbicides, pesticides, fungicides or fertilizers.**
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, oriented toward growing their business in harmony with a better food system.
*Sugar, and ingredients that make up less than 2% of the product, such as pectin and spices, may be sourced from farther afield, and are not required to be grown organically due to barriers in cost and access in some regions. Citrus juice (up to 15%) added to increase acidity of the preserve is also allowed to be sourced from outside the region of entry but must be grown in the same spirit as the primary preserved fruit (using the above organic standards) and sourced domestically where possible.
**IPM growing practices will be accepted for some fruit (apples, stone fruit) and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Additionally, preserves entries must fit within one of these subcategories:
- Conserve: Following the traditional definition, this refers to a preserve that includes a combination of fruit and nuts. Alternatively, a conserve may exclude nuts and utilize a methodology that includes a maceration period and rapid cook time.
- Curd: Fruit curds are creamy spreads made from acidic fruit juice, butter, and eggs cooked over a double-boiler until it becomes a custard.
- Fruit Butter: A preserve made from fruit that has been cooked initially, often in added liquid, and then pureed into a smooth texture and cooked a second time with the addition of sugar. The texture is spreadable like butter and silky smooth.
- Fruit Cheese or Leather: A preserve made from fruit that has been cooked initially, often in added liquid, and then pureed into a smooth texture and cooked a second time with the addition of sugar to a consistency where the liquid has been removed leaving a high concentration of fruit. Once cooled, it is solid and sliceable. Fruit leathers fall into this category.
- Jam: A cooked mixture of crushed or cut fruit and with a concentration of at least 55 percent sugar.
- Jelly: A combination of sugar and fruit juice which has been extracted from the fruit by simple cooking and straining. Jellies are clear in appearance and should hold their shape to some degree. Savory pepper jellies would also be included in this subcategory.
- Low Sugar Preserve: A cooked mixture of crushed or cut fruit and with a concentration of less than 55 percent sugar.
- Marmalade: From the Portugese word marmelo, marmalades are made with citrus fruit and sugar. They may, but do not necessarily need to, contain suspended pieces of fruit or peel. Two methodologies include cutting the citrus fruit for the marmalade or juicing the fruit and suspending the peel within.
- Syrup: Made from fruit juice extracted from fruit by maceration or cooking and then filtered and cooked with sugar and additional flavors of herbs, flowers and spices, if desired. The texture can range from light to heavy depending on the cooking time. Syrups can also be made from sugar and water infused with herbs, flowers or spices. Beginning with the 2018 Awards, syrups will be judged in the Elixirs category.
Wine Educator, Shakewell
Director; Product and Process Development Manager, Food Innovation Center Oregon State University
COO, Yummy Artisan Foods
Impact Programs Manager, The James Beard Foundation
Food Editor, Sunset Magazine
Founder, Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center
Founder & CEO, Foodlyn
Author, Farmer, Cook & Educator, Warndu & Granny Skills
Food Editor, Sunset Magazine
Co-Founder, FireFly Farms
Anna Smith Clark
Photographer/Owner, Nader Khouri Photography
Founder/Photographer, Kassie Borreson Fotografie
Nancy Kruger Cohen
Co-Founder and President, Mouth.com
Artist & Illustrator, Maria Schoettler Illustration
Receiving & Inventory Specialist, Thistle