“Well Preserved” – Harrogate Preserves

Tom Hay (Harrogate Advertiser) sings the praises of a home-grown business – Harrogate Preserves.

We are suckers for things in jars.

Chutneys. pickles, Jams, marmalades, sauces, whatever it is. If you stick it in a cylindrical glass and shove a lid on it, we’ll be happy.

Its daft, given this that it’s taken us so long to write about the Harrogate Preserves Company. So let’s get to it.

It’s a one woman business run by a nice lady named Sally Hargrave. She started making preserves for herself, and as tends to happen with things in jars (which are typically created in batches too large for even the most dedicated of jam fans to eat unaided) she passed lots on to family and friends.

They went down so well that people kept asking her for more. At one point the request came back to thick that she ran out of jars; at another, she was drafted into prepare favours for a wedding.

She started trading just under three years ago and she now supplies Rudding Park, Fodder, Weeton’s and food shops across Yorkshire.

The ingredients are as local and possible, and everything’s made in her own kitchen in North Rigton.

We recently wolfed down three of her products. The caramelised red onion marmalade is nice: sticky, sweet and spiked with clove. Blackberry and apple jam is outstanding; a brilliantly judged balance of sugars and acidity, strewn with lovely chunks of apple which, miraculously, have held their shape instead of disintegrating into mush.

And here’s what our beer chap Robin Scott had to say about the sweet tomato and chilli sauce: “it was not what I was expecting at all, it’s delicate and subtle rather than glutinous and cloying, like its peers, and made a wonderful accompaniment to a baked salmon and vegetable dish I cooked.”

You can find Harrogate Preserves Co products at the shops named above, or stockists including Lends, The Cheeseboard and Bean and Bud (Harrogate) the Market Place Deli (Wetherby) or www.wowthankyou.co.uk ““ and you can follow Sally, a fairly prolific tweeter @HGPreserves.