“Which one should I try next?” I contemplated. Pina Colada? Blueberry? Lemon Honey? Carrot cake? Strawberry rhubarb? With roughly ten types of jams, jellies, and spreads from Home Made by Rivka opened to taste test, I was left with the difficult situation – to choose one. Luckily Rivka Berman was there to make the suggestion of, “Try multiple.” While spreading the different delicacies with small serving spoons onto crackers, Rivka told me about how she first started making jams, jellies, and spreads as holiday gifts for family and friends due to being on a tight budget. The first type she ever made was an Apple Cider Jelly, which she now sells as one of her flavors, and is one I can personally recommend. Now Rivka has a Homestead license to craft her delights and sells at multiple farmers’ markets and locations, which have been listed below.
The next one I enjoyed was the Carrot Cake Jam, her best seller, and yes, I’m here to report it really does live up to its name. The other current top seller, Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, is made with strawberries from Spiller Farm in Wells, Maine. Other local ingredients used in Rivka’s products include clover honey produced in Barrington, NH and raspberries from McKenzie’s Farm in Milton, NH.
With all this talk of jams, jellies, and spreads I wondered what the difference between them all was. Rivka explained to me that jam is made with whole fruit pieces and has big chunks of fruit, jellies are made with just liquids, and spreads are made with either fruit pieces or just liquid, but is defined by its lower sugar content. While her products may have different names to go by, most have only five ingredients or less.
While I was savoring the multiple types of jams, jellies, and spreads on crackers and imagining how amazing they would taste on buttered toast, Rivka let me in on her favorite ways to enjoy her products. With not being much of a bread person herself, Rivka likes glazing meats with her products (try pork glazed with the Apple Cider Jelly), using the Pina Colada Jam in equal parts to chicken stock to create a stir-fry sauce, and the various jams to make thumb print cookies. Another sweet idea is to use the jams as fillings for macaroons, just as Teatotaller Tea House in Somersworth, NH does with Rivka’s strawberry rhubarb jam (Rivka’s products are on a three set rotation at Teatotaller, where they are sold and served with breakfast.)
Taking note from Teatotaller, I decided to use Rivka’s Banana Foster Spread as a filling, not in a macaroon however, but in a cake. I made a vanilla cake, with the spread in the middle, a cream frosting drizzled on top along, and sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes and pecans. It was so yummy! Rivka also recommends using the Banana Foster Spread as an ice cream topping.
One problem did present itself though – after trying so many of Rivka’s products I wanted to buy them all! Thankfully her stall will be here every Thursday at the Somersworth farmers’ market throughout the summer.
Where to find Home Made by Rivka:
- Somersworth Farmers’ Market (Thursdays from 3-6pm)
- Hampton Falls Farmers’ Market (Mondays 2-6pm)
- Barnstead Farmers’ Market (Saturdays 9am-noon)
- Guest appearances at the Stratham and Rochester Farmers’ Markets
- Barker’s Farm LLC, Stratham, NH
- The Gathering Place Studio & Shop, Somersworth, NH
- Teatotaller Tea House, Somersworth, NH