A Squared: My Favorite Things: American Spoon

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Favorite Things: American Spoon

On our recent visit to Michigan we stopped at one of my favorite local shops American Spoon. American Spoon has a few stores located around northern Michigan, but the Potoskey location is their flagship store complete with an adjoining cafe and gelateria. I know a lot of you readers are food lovers and if you're not from the Midwest, you may not have heard of it, so let me know take a moment to tell you why I love it.

If you are a foodie or love to cook like me, then you need to visit one of these stores the next time you find yourself in Michigan. American Spoon was founded in the early 1980's with a goal of creating high quality preserves using locally sourced Michigan produce. Essentially, there were all about buying local before it was the movement it is now. And what started as a small preserves business has become a handful of shops and an online store carrying a huge variety of sauces, salsas, jams, and more.

The stores have a great atmosphere-- like local farmstand meets old fashioned general store. The staff is always super friendly and knowledgeable and they are willing to wrap up and ship anything you buy. It's a great place to put together a gift for a food lover since you can customize your own gift basket or box full of their products. The big plus side of shopping in their stores is that you can sample all the products before you buy them too.

Alex and I sampled several products and ended up heading back to Chicago with a bag full of fun things to eat. He picked out a bag of American Spoon chocolate covered cherries to share with his coworkers and a jar of cherry butter that he has been eating on toast and waffles in the mornings. Here's how I'm using some of the other great stuff I picked up:

  • Sour Cherry Spoon Fruit-- American Spoon describes Spoon Fruit as "spreadable fruit quietly sweetened with concentrated fruit juices." It's like fruit that has been cooked down so that it is soft and still chunky, but not cooked all the way down to preserves. I heated some and poured it over vanilla frozen yogurt and finished it with crushed cinnamon graham crackers for a quick dessert.
  • Cherry BBQ Grilling Sauce-- We bought some of this last summer and it was so good on grilled chicken and pork that we picked up another jar of it this time too. It's a barbecue sauce with a sweet and tangy cherry flavor. You can use it as you would any barbecue sauce.
  • Apple & Onion Jam-- Wow, this stuff is good! It's a sweet and savory jam that is incredibly versatile. I used it on some yummy grown up grilled sandwiches with gruyere, spinach, and caramelized onions. I also used it to glaze a pork tenderloin. I'll be sharing that recipe with you on Thursday!
  • Sweet Corn Salsa-- I'm not sure how to advise you to use this one because honestly, it was so good with chips that we polished it off in 3 days. It's not spicy, but more sweet and tangy with fresh corn kernels, tomatoes, and peppers. I think I need a case of this stuff.

The good news for you? If you won't find yourself in Michigan anytime soon, American Spoon has a fully stocked online store and they will ship to anywhere in the continental US. And if you order 12 jars or more, you qualify for flat rate $10 shipping!

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