I recently had the chance to experience Geneviève Blanchet’s Le Meadow’s Pantry artisanal jams and marmalades. The Québécoise mother of two girls moved to BC 16 years ago, having worked in several kitchens, serving in fine dining, gourmet, and traditional restaurants. Classic foods have been of interest to Geneviève since discovering them on European adventures as a young woman.
It was there that she learned to enjoy and preserve food according to season, exploring a bounty of great new ingredients and flavours. Once in Vancouver, she studied traditional Chinese medicine, and later received a traditional herbalist diploma. In addition, she’s a registered holistic nutritionist. Armed with all that knowledge up her sleeves, she’s now producing a line of handcrafted, small-batch preserves, cooked in copper jam pans and made a dozen at a time.
Over 30 varieties are available depending on season and supply, all utilizing local fruits, herbs, honey, liquors and spices. Some of her jams use organic vanilla and organic cinnamon extract from Pemberton Distillery, herbs and flowers from her garden, local liquor and spirits, local honey, and sea salt from Vancouver Island Salt Company.
We were sent a few jars of her locally-made products to sample and enjoy alone and on toast. The 250 ml jars cost $10 each, and are packed with gorgeous ingredients (and no preservatives), all immediately noticeable upon opening, as we smelled the aromas that emanated one after another.
What We Tasted
Banana Gone Gourmet: Banana, 70% cocoa, cane sugar, lemon, vanilla
Although the colour is light brown, expect more of a banana rather than chocolate taste. If you’re a banana fan, you’ll love it. We could have used a tad more cocoa on our taste buds.
Classic British Trio: Orange, lemon, grapefruit, cane sugar, juniper berries, gin, hyssop
If you’re a fan of tart marmalade with pieces of orange and lemon rind, Geneviève’s popular Classic British Trio will win you over.
Pear Citron: Pear, lemon, cane sugar, cardamon
This is a nicely aromatic preserve, but we’d like to see a future batch made with lemon juice rather than lemon rind pieces that drowned out the soft pear flavour with harsher lemon rind pieces.
I’m personally looking forward to trying her dandelion jelly, made with Pemberton Valley-foraged dandelions. She uses exactly 365 flowers in each jar of jelly, celebrating the 365 suns that have risen and set since the previous year’s spring. Talk about dedication to nature!
Burnaby-based Geneviève also teaches jam and marmalade-making classes, where you’ll learn jam and preserve-making methods, tips on sourcing fruit, pairing jam with food, and more. She can accommodate from two to eight people and will arrange to teach at your home.
Find Le Meadow’s Pantry jams and preserves online at Foodie Pages, in person at Vancouver and Port Moody Winter Farmer’s Markets, and at several other key fairs around the Lower Mainland and Whistler. She’ll also ship globally.
We were sent a selection of Le Meadow’s yummy jams and preserves for the purpose of taste-testing and of writing this feature.