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Tasty Chutneys, Jams for Christmas

Published: 
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Some Terre Benie jams, jellies and chutneys. PHOTOS: TERRE BENIEfor

Jams and chutneys as great Christmas gift ideas? Yes, this can actually work. Recently we came across a couple of women who specialise in making different jams and chutneys under the label Terre Benie—which means Blessed Earth. And what they were offering—including the cost, the packaging, and their success in selling their products as Christmas gifts for years now—makes the idea a perfectly tasty one for a flavourful yuletide season.

Their products have a shelf life of up to a year without being refrigerated, and include a wide range of jams made from mango, pommerac, guava, sorrel, mamee sapotee, pommecythere and passion fruit.

They also make papaya and ginger jam, pumpkin and ginger jam, sticky tamarind preserves and jams, carambola jam, and chutneys including melongene, mango, and pumpkin.

And their line has been so popular that they now also make relishes, a pepper sauce, sweet pickled cucumber, and even their own brand of jerk seasoning.

I visited the mother and daughter duo Kate and Krys Wong at their place of work, and indulged in their melongene chutney.

This was a very hard task for me, because I am not a fan of melongene! However, when I tasted it, I found it unexpectedly flavoursome.

The company Terre Benie was founded by Kate Wong. It all began when Kate, who is deeply involved in the preservation of the environment, started a project with a youth group to encourage them to reuse, recycle and preserve all things.

“I started off by growing different green seasonings in my back yard and took it to the children at church, because I wanted people to become more environmentally aware,” said Wong.

After sharing the seasonings among people at church and at their home, they gave away the excess.

It was at this point that Kate began to experiment with her produce, and created her own pumpkin and papaya jams.

“When we realised that people loved the jams, we decided to create more. Everything grew from here, including the company,” she said.

Kate and her daughter wanted to create products that were grown naturally and locally: “We wanted to grow things naturally, with no chemicals, while encouraging others to grow and use local products in sensible and creative ways,” said Kate.

“Everything is local and we only use what we can get. Consequently, some of the jams are seasonal, such as the mango and sorrel jams. We get produce such as guava from a couple of trees in our community, as well as other local stuff grown in our back yard.”

Some jams and chutneys, however, you can get right through the year, such as their melongene chutney, which is always in demand.

“Our papaya products are keepers as well,” said Krys.

The duo use a similar method to make the jams and chutneys—chutneys simply involve different spices. They make the products in varying batch sizes and a batch can be made in a day.

Terre Benie has now expanded from jams to include chutneys, seasonings, pepper sauces and relishes.

Kate and Krys dream of opening their own shop to showcase all their products and other cooked items, so customers can easily know where to find their products.

But for now, the two ladies sell their jams and chutneys at crafts markets such as UpMarket.

MORE INFO

For more information call 776.2954 or [email protected].

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