Candice Ross, founder of Stagg Jam & Marmalade

Stagg Jam & Marmalade Has Its Heart In Louisiana

Early this summer, we began selling Stagg Jam & Marmalade — a brand new product made in Brooklyn but “born in Louisiana,” as its label proudly states. Candice Ross left a career in architecture to start the company, which she named after her grandfather, a farmer, father, mechanic and maker who “lives a life filled with love and simplicity,” says the Stagg web site. We called up Candice recently to ask her about her jams, the food scene and her decision to switch paths, in search of a life similarly filled with what matters most. 

*In response to the devastating floods in Louisiana, Stagg Jams has announced that now through Sept. 1, 100% of the proceeds from sales of marmalades (Lemon, Orange & Grapefruit) on the Stagg site will be donated to the United Way of Acadiana, to help with rebuilding efforts.

Let’s talk about that Banana Jam. We’re in love.

It’s magic. (Laughs.) I make it, so, obviously, I know how it works. But I’m still always like: Wow! I am convinced that it’s the vanilla bean. There’s organic vanilla bean, and I think it makes everything just pop.

When I first moved to the city 11 years ago, like every 23 year old, I had no money. Like, at all. And I was working at this architecture firm and would have to go on site a lot, and I ended up getting into this habit of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, legitimately, every single day. They’re cheap, you throw them in your bag, they don’t go bad. But I had this problem with the bananas, because they would go brown. I’d buy a bunch of bananas, because they were cheap, and they’d go brown.

And it was around the time I’d started making jam anyway, and so I thought: I’ll just make them into a jam.

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Very functional Banana aside, how do you choose your flavors?

They just kind of come to me. Basically, they’re something I would want to eat. For example, I think the Seasoned Sorrel is really kind of a good one. When I moved to Crown Heights, I kept  Continue reading

Michelada

A Bloody Mary that Captures the Taste of Summer

Kingsley Amis, a prolific writer and, by his own estimation, one of the foremost drunks of his time, had much excellent information to impart on the subject of drink.

“The Bloody Mary,” he wrote in his 1983 Everyday Drinking, “is a delicious and most sustaining concoction, universally popular, just the thing for a Sunday morning party or pre-brunch session — or indeed any time when the afternoon is vacant.”

When mixing up a batch for a party, Amis advised going to a bit more trouble than the barest-of-bare vodka + tomato juice + Worcester sauce. (“Perfectly good as that is,” he added.)

We concur. But understanding the desire, on a wobbly Saturday morning, for minimal effort and maximum enjoyment, we decided to stop by the farmers’ market for the sweetest, juiciest, mid-summer tomatoes we could find and mix up a batch of Bloody Mary Mix that’s the very essence of summer. And to which you can simply add ice and either vodka or tequila.

The mixture is now in our beer fridge, along with a variety of conversation starting (or full-mouth conversation-ending) mixed pickles: watermelon rinds, cornichons, garlic scapes, ramps.

And still additionally, for those who like a good thing done exactly right, we made some fresh celery salt, which you can pour into a dish and dip the damp rim of your glass into.celery salt

Beer lovers may instead turn to the Michelada, otherwise known as the Beer Mary: a Mexican lager paired with Bloody Mary Mix. Interesting pickles and a salted rim again make for a more-perfect outcome. (El Sully from 21st Amendment Brewing is one of our favorites cervezas, and we’ve stocked the fridge with it.)

Whichever your beverage of choice, we hope we’ve offered a relaxing entryway into the weekend. Or, a welcome finish to what you started the night before.

Amis advised, in his 1973 On Drink: “About 12:30, firmly take a hair (or better, in Cyril Connolly’s phrase, a tuft) of the dog that bit you. The dog, by the way, is of no particular breed: there is no obligation to go for the same drink as the one you were mainly punishing the night before.”

However, he added, “A lot of people will feel better after one or two Bloody Marys. Simply because they expect to.”

pickles

 

 

boxes

New Gift Boxes: 20 Delicious Ways to Say Everything

Food has always been used to express love, thanks, condolences and sentiments less easily put into words. Likely, because it speaks to us in ways both simple and deeply elemental.

Consider how a bite of watermelon can lightning-fast transport you to splintery picnic table, or the curb of your neighbor’s house, with roller skates on your feet. How one cool swallow of wine can return you to a nook of a restaurant in Detroit or Cinque Terre, or a tartare spread on crisp toast.

M.F.K. Fisher, a food writer’s food writer, once wrote, “Our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.”

We’ve spent the last few months re-designing our gift box lineup, so that whatever you need to say, there’s a perfect gift, at the right price, to say it.

These boxes feature handmade selections from our kitchen and bakery, where we’re guided by ingredients that are seasonal, often local, responsibly grown and above all the most delicious we can find. A simple example is our peanut butter. We buy fresh peanuts from a single farm in Virginia, roast them ourselves and then grind and jar them by hand.

And we hold our vendors to the same high standards.

Pick up a jar of honey in a grocery store and the small print is likely to say it’s from one and/or  two countries or even continents, so unsure are they of the source of something you’re supposed to eat and feed to the people you love. We take pride — and comfort, and delight — in knowing exactly where the honeys on our shelves were made, whether it’s the Gran Paradiso National Park in northern Italy or Bed Stuy, Brooklyn.

We sell products that stand on their own as some of the best in the world. And that embody the small companies and individuals who make them.

Candice Ross was a trained architect in New York who loved the creativity in her work but not the complications that surrounded it. She founded Stagg Jam & Marmalade, which she named after her grandfather, who she describes as immensely capable and refreshingly focused on purely the things that matter most to him.

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Our resident Picnic Pros.

Introducing the Bklyn Larder Picnic Pros

Headed to a picnic? Planning a party? Wondering which cheese goes best with a green lawn and some chilled rosé? Or maybe how the Argus Ciderkin compares to the Nine Pin Hard Cider?

Please allow us to introduce Kristina and Gizella, aka, our resident know-it-alls, keepers of the details and serious, serious Picnic Pros. (Yes, uppercase letters are in order.)

Kristina, our assistant manager, is the definition of delightful — and no detail gets by her. Can’t find something? She knows exactly where it is and is probably already wrapping it up for you. Gizella, our general manager, has been with Larder since day one. She’s wry and dry and really pretty magical. That cheese you had at that party that one time? She knows what it is. And she knows one you might like even more.
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Father’s Day: 5 Gifts That’ll Make You Dad’s Favorite

Last minute shopping? No judgment here. You’ve still got a few days to send dad a gift he’ll love. Need ideas? We’ve got lots, like these five. Just order by the end of Tuesday, and they’re guaranteed to arrive by Saturday.

Ultimate Food Club

This is the gift that keeps on giving — you can choose whether dad will receive it for three, six or 12 months. And that’s not even the ultimate part! We call it the Ultimate Food Club because it’s the best of all worlds. It’s a fantastic cheese, an incredible salami, a perfect chocolate bar and a freshly baked seasonal loaf cake from our in-house bakery (seriously, we bake them up for each order and ship them off the moment they’re cooled). Every month! In the summertime that might mean a strawberry coffee cake and in the winter a chocolate babka or apple cake.

In a world of bills and junk mail, there is little nicer than finding the postman’s left a recurring gift of the best that the food world has to offer. Price: Starts at $229 for 3 months of delivery.

2 A Jack Rudy Cocktail

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.

We have been selling and drinking and thoroughly enjoying Jack Rudy Small Batch Tonic for some time now. But we must admit, when the chaps over at British GQ named it one of the best tonics on the planet, we felt a bit validated. Or maybe just tipsy. Anyway, it’s a concentrate of quinine, from the Cinchona Tree, to which this family-run company adds a mix of botanicals and a touch of cane sugar.

This tonic is a gift in itself. But we’ve also become quite taken with Jack Rudy’s recipes. Include a jar of Luxardo Cocktail Cherries and/or some Scrappy’s Grapefruit Bitters, and dad is well on his way to a refreshing end to his holiday. Price: Starts at $22. 

3 The Brooklyn: Williamsburg

The Brooklyn: Williamsburg

The Brooklyn: Williamsburg

The Williamsburg is one of our most popular gift boxes and for great reason: It’s a touring taste of the borough, from Red Hook (Early Bird Granola) to the Navy Yard (Salty Road Taffy) to our shop on the border of Park Slope and Prospect Heights. Dad’ll think of you when he pours his morning bowl of granola, when he slathers Empire Mayo on his sandwich at lunch, and when he snaps into a bar of Mast Brothers’ chocolate after dinner. Price: $49 (ships FedEx Home for $10.99)

 4  Franz Heuber Cheese Apron

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Franz Hueber for Bklyn Larder

The graphic designer Franz Heuber has a spectacular eye for pattern, composition and unusual beauty. He created a series of posters for us, highlighting some of what we do (gelato, sandwiches, beer, etc.), and one of those we turned into a sturdy, splashproof apron. It’s just the thing for grilling up sausages (we’ve got fresh ones if you’re in the neighborhood), avoiding the messes of dinner prep or preparing an evening cheese plate.

Bonus points go to anyone who sends dad the apron and the four cheeses it highlights: Swiss cheese, Roquefort, L’Amuse Gouda and Toma della Rocca. Price: Apron only, $25.

5  Snacks for Two

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Snacks for Two

You can buy dad dinner, or send Snacks for Two — our most popular gift box, two years running. Anchored by two half-pounds of incredible cheese, it’s salty (salami), sweet (Medjool dates), tart (Wickles Pickles), umami (house-roasted almonds) and just a touch decadent (dessert is six housebaked chocolate shortbread cookies with a sprinkle of sea salt flakes).

It’s perfect for picnicking (it even includes a tote bag, for carrying everything to the park), or popping open a bottle at the dining table and making a meal of. Mom may thank you, too. Price: $129 (includes free 2-day shipping; only ships on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays).