Total Fat: 0g / Total Carbs: 6g / Protein: 0g
Good with: Cheese, specifically brie, telaggio or pecorino.
Other Flavors: Strawberry Ancho, Blackberry Serrano, Blueberry Jalapeno, Raspberry Habanero, Spiced Cherry
Why We Love It: This ain’t your normal jam. Actually it’s not jam at all – it’s preserves made with real fresh berries, vine-ripened for optimal freshness and flavor and lovingly blended with just the right amount of pepper for a little kick that emerges at the end of your bite. The fruit definitely comes first in these luxury preserves, and the spice from the peppers are just there to give it a little extra kick and flavor. Primo Preserves were made to pair with gourmet cheese, and in a way that bears resemblance to the wine-making process. They don’t have a set formula for each batch – just guidelines. They use a refractometer (like wine-makers do) to measure the sugar content of that batch of berries, then add just the right amount of sugar to that to balance out the flavor. This makes sure each batch tastes perfect, and also results in a product that has about 10% less sugar than your run-of-the-mill fruit jam or preserve.
Meet the Makers: Based in Denver, CO, PRiMO was launched in 2007 by Vic Papazian. Growing up in a Greek family, Vic’s life had always revolved around the kitchen and sharing food, so when he tried time and time again to find a preserve that wasn’t all concentrated fruit sweetness, or that didn’t punch you in the mouth with its spiciness, he decided it was time to make his own. Luckily, he had a few friends that were fromagers (cheese merchants/aficionados) and so he launched PRiMO preserves with the idea of making them the perfect accompaniment for gourmet cheeses. www.yayprimo.com
Fun Fact: While Vic and co have a precise way of measuring the sweetness of the fruit they use in their preserves in the refractometer, there isn’t the same type of measuring tool for the hotness of peppers. They use a slightly less precise (but more fun?) method of taste-testing the peppers. Did you know that the hottest part of the pepper is closest to the stem?