Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Focus on Local: Trugs Garden Goodies

One thing that Food Revolution Friday has got me thinking about has been been buying locally made, fresh products. It's interesting when you start thinking that way; suddenly you notice things that you didn't before, and Trugs Garden Goodies were something I suddenly became very interested in. Now usually, I'm used to companies approaching me but this time, I threw caution to the winds and found them at the farmer's market, so I asked about trying their products. I was delighted to find out that they seemed as excited about me wanting to blog about them and I was about trying their wares!

Produced in Halfmoon Bay, BC, I had the privilege of meeting the wonderful owners and actually seeing their amazing garden and property when I dropped by to chat about their products. Before I get started on the food, you should know that everything produced by Trugs is made with "all-natural ingredients, without added chemicals, colouring, additives, flavour enhancers or preservatives" (taken from Trugs website) Just as interesting; both owners are Reiki masters, and everything is produced with love. It's even on the label.

Pictured: top (right to left) Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam, Wild Blackberry Jam, (bottom, right to left) Aunt Ginny's Antipasto, Nicely Spicy Red Pepper Jelly)

Eagerly arriving home with my little bag of treats, I had to fend off my 14 year old as he tried to snatch it from me. Right then and there, we cracked open the little jar of blackberry jam and and all three of us tasted.

Swoon. I make blackberry jam, but this was better. Smoother. That bit of liqueur added made it just delicious. It was the first to be greedily devoured, as we licked our fingers to get every last morsel.

Trugs adds small amounts of liqueurs to some of their products for extra flavor. The alcohol burns off in the cooking process, but I have to say that the flavor left behind is amazing. I have never seen the addition of liqueurs in products like this before, and that is what I think gives Trugs a really unique and delicious flavor. Certainly nothing artificial can produce that, right?

Throughout the last few weeks we have cooked and nibbled on Trugs; in cookies, topping our spinach salad or a green leafy salad, dipping in our bread, and on crackers (as above). Every time, the product has been downright delicious. The flavors are bright and fresh, and have a far less processed feel then anything I've had at the store. Maybe it's the liqueurs, or the love that is added, but they are absolutely yummy.

Our favorites?

Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam: I've tried this with cream cheese on a cracker, and it's so savory and delicious I had to stop myself from eating the whole jar. I'm told that it makes a delicious glaze on meats, and I might have to try that with the little bits I have left.

Nicely Spiced Red Pepper Jelly: I have made pepper jelly, but it doesn't taste like this. Spicy, but not too spicy, and sweet but with lots of flavor and not just a pile of sugar. If you want to buy pepper jelly instead of making it, this is a very good choice. I haven't ever bought one yet that tastes remotely as good.

Chocolate Cherry Jam: I blogged about using this special jam on some great no bake cookies, but I think it would make an amazing filling for black forest cake or in a jelly roll. Can you imagine taking chocolate cupcakes, scooping out a bit of the cake in the top, filling it with this jam, and then topping with whipped cream? A hint of cocoa, with big hunks of cherries, it's very delicious.

Spinach Salad Dressing: Want to dress up a salad? Or marinate something? Have something to drip bread in? This dressing is so versatile that you can use it for all sorts of things. We finished it off before we had the chance to try it for every use listed, but I'm sure they are all yummy.

Lastly, if you have the chance to visit the Sechelt Farmer's Market, make sure to also pick up a loaf of Trug's Garlic Cheese Bread. I was told it was a hot seller, and once I saw it, I can see why; as the car filled with the delicious scent of freshly baked garlic bread, it took every ounce of self restraint not to devour the loaf in the car as I drove home.

In fact, Jake is insisting I need to go back to the Farmer's market as soon as possible to get another loaf.

Wouldn't you?

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