The idea to make wine and herbal jellies came from my love of wine and good food. I grew up in a household where homemade food meant family, comfort and hospitality. Guests who visited my childhood home knew to come hungry because hungry or not my grandmother would offer them something to eat or drink as soon as they stepped through the front door. And everyone knows that you never tell an Italian grandmother you aren't hungry.
My grandparents came to America from Italy in the early 1900s. My grandmother, Anna Autiello Schiavone spent hours in the kitchen making traditional dishes from her own hilltown village of Teano, Italy I have such fond memories of my family gathered around a table talking, laughing and eating...always eating. And always brought to the table firstly was a bottle of homemade wine, served in but what else--jelly glasses! So many of our family traditions centered around homemade food and wine. The memories of the aroma of Nunie's homemade cantucci cookies or her Sunday sauce and meatballs makes me feel like I am a kid again. Maybe that’s why I started cooking! I too have a love for the land, adore gardening and just love cooking so much that once my own family was raised and moved out into the world on their own, I started a family cooking blog, Cucina Panzano, simply to preserve many of our old family recipes.
Grandpa Gerardo had a huge vegetable garden and a wine cellar in the basement where he spent many hours making his own wine. I never actually saw the inside of the wine cellar because Grandpa passed away when I was very young. A family story that I often heard was that Grandpa always had 2 bottles of wine on the floor next to his favorite stool. One (best) bottle just for him, familia members and his good friends; the other bottle was for the visitors that… well, you get the picture. :-) I guess this explains why I make gallons of homemade limoncello annually and share with very close friends and family.
I started making wine jelly over twenty years ago and really liked the flavor and how well the jellies complimented other foods. I began to share my jelly with family and friends and was encouraged to start selling it. And as I presently do three farmers markets weekly, I decided to finally give it a go. I applied for my state kitchen license and just thrilled to now be able to offer my Nunie's cantucci biscotti recipes, herbal baked goods, our fine line of herbal dips and seasoning blends made from our own organic herb gardens and my delicious wine and herbal jellies to the open market. In all honesty I have to admit it was a little daunting my first day at market peddling my jellies. I sold out in less than three hours and came home with more orders than I thought I could possibly fill! Somehow I managed and since then I've have been refining my family recipes, setting up this blog and preparing to offer homemade wine and herbal jellies to the general public.
Just like my grandmother's meals, our jellies are made the old fashioned way, in small batches and from my own handwritten recipes. We make sure that our jellies are of the finest quality. Every jar contains real wine and fresh, natural ingredients ensuring the bright and pure flavors that wine lovers adore.
We invite you to check out the Jelly Cupboard where you'll find a variety of recipes very soon, using our jellies and jams. But don’t be afraid to try our jellies drizzled over fresh goat cheese or chevre and even whipped cream cheese or with plain old peanut butter for a delicious treat!
We sincerely hope you like our many offerings and thanks for your interest.
Jadeane & Rob