I’ll bet you’ve never had a jam like Angela’s. Seriously. Unless of course you grew up in the country, passing summer mornings picking baskets of fresh berries at the local fruit farm. If you happened to grow up this way, hopefully you were lucky enough to spend a few afternoons like Angela used to spend hers: watching her mother and grandmother turning that summer bounty into beautiful, natural, whole-fruit preserves to be enjoyed all year. Early exposure to traditional cooking methods and an utter fascination with the contents of the jars lining the walls of her family’s cold cellar in Hollis, NH, instilled in Angela an ardent appreciation for cooking the old-fashioned way, honoring methods proven by time to create a higher quality, authentically delicious product.
Fille de Ferme Handmade Preserves has deep roots in its creator’s French-Canadian heritage, it’s label stating, “The way mémère taught me”. Indeed, Angela cherished those afternoons sitting on a stool in the kitchen, soaking up her grandmother’s traditions. Angela made preserves, liqueurs, and other goodies recreationally for many years after settling in Marblehead, and doled them out to lucky friends and family. She remembers distinctly, however, a trip to a fine food shop in Cambridge several years ago where, upon examining their selection, she was struck with the idea that she could create a better product than what was available. Sick of picking up jars of jams based on sugar, corn syrup and processed fruits, she did her research, got the permits and certifications, and Fille de Ferme was born in late summer 2011, with a goal to create new and different products suitable for “elegant but casual entertaining”. After a few solid years on the Farmer’s Market circuit, Angela made a splash at her retail debut at Shubie’s 67th Anniversary event.
So what’s next for Fille de Ferme? Angela has just created her first chutney (Spicy Pear Habañero) and spent the winter researching traditional methods of making mustard. Hers is a very classic, grainy-spicy-French-style rendition that is powerful on a cheese plate with some of her European-style pickled veg. My personal favorite is the White Peach with Lemon Verbena, a sticky-sweet yet lightly herbal nectar that’s a graceful dinner party dessert spooned over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnished with a sprig of thyme. Angela prefers to source produce from small family farms and is excited to begin experimenting with unusual heirloom apples from an orchard in New Hampshire this fall, as well as anything new (or preferably ancient) she can get her hands on. She cherishes the fact that there are still vegetables to discover, and with a full roster of Farmer’s Markets this season (Marblehead, Newburyport, SoWa, and Belmont to be exact!) and a plunge into wholesale, it’s safe to say that Fille de Ferme will be sharing original creations with us for years to come.