FARM DIRECT SPECIALTY FOODS ®
You might have noticed that some Oregon Growers our products are labeled as non-GMO and some are not. While most of our products are certified as non-GMO, but in some cases certain ingredients, or a delay in paperwork, have prevented those products from achieving certification, which can be a rigorous process. However, that doesn’t mean those products are genetically modified, it just means we’re still working on getting them to that point.
We don’t pick the fruit we use in our products until they are perfectly ripe, which means they have 30% less sugar than many of our competitors. It allows the natural sugar to provide what we call a “fruit-forward flavor”, meaning you’re tasting more of the actual fruit than any added sugar. Our jams contain one-third less sugar than traditional recipes allowing the flavor of fresh fruit to shine through.
Technically, we are not actually a jam, hence we commonly use the term fruit spread. To be technically considered a jam, the FDA mandates that jams and preserves contain 65% soluble sugar. Check out our blog post for more of an in-depth reason behind why. CLICK HERE
Apart from a little sugar, we don’t use preservatives. Some companies will compensate for not using preservatives by adding lots of sugar to preserve the fruit, but at Oregon Growers we prefer to keep the flavor focus on the fruit. We’re not looking to just make another flavored sugar jam.
It is the sugar that "preserves" the product by chemically binding to all the available water in the product, thus not allowing for yeast or mold to grow. Since we don’t use preservatives, once you open a jar it is like cutting into a peach or having a bowl of berries, the fruit is fresh and subject to spoilage. Don’t wait too long to enjoy your jam, because it doesn’t last forever!
As we mentioned, we use the freshest fruit, which means that yes, there is an expiration. Typically, once a jar of fruit spread is opened its shelf life is three months depending on the temperature of your refrigerator. In addition, cross-contamination from breadcrumbs, cream cheese, butter or anything else that might get in there once they are opened will also speed up spoilage.
The reason that our opened shelf life is shorter than traditional jams is the fact that our product is a fruit spread (as noted above), thus once they are opened, even when refrigerated, their freshness life can be shortened. Upon bottling, our products are pasteurized to preserve them for up to two years unopened.
A Fruit Pate is an artisan condiment for cheese. The fruit is cooked down until almost all of the liquid is out and then pectin is added. This gives it a firm and almost slice-able consistency.
Yes, we are a naturally gluten-free product!
A Marionberry is THE Oregon berry, originating in the state’s Marion County! Check out our blog to read an in-depth article on what a Marionberry is ... CLICK HERE.
A huckleberry is a small, round, edible blue-black berry related to the blueberry which can only be grown in the wild and only in certain parts of the country. We’re fortunate here to have a bounty of them in the Huckleberry Wilderness in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Each berry is handpicked, hence why they are a bit more expensive than other berries, but they’re worth every delicious sweet and tart bite!