Apricot Gold Winner 2006 NASFT
Harvest Song Ventures, LLC
Harvest Song Artisanal Preserve - Apricot
Whenever Sylvia Tirakian and her business partner, hotelier and carpet designer James Tufenkian, visited Armenia, they'd immediately seek out the scrumptious local fruit and talk about how they wished they could share it with their friends. With Harves Song Ventures, their newly formed artisanal food company based in New York, they can do just that.
The sun-ripened, spring-water-fed fruit for the Harvest Song Apricot Artisanal preserve comes from the Mt. Ararat Valley, about 10,000 feet about sea level. "Farming is done in the old-fashioned way, just as it has been for generations," says Tirakian. "All of the fruit is hand-picked, had-inspected and immediately brought to our nearby cannery, where the pits are gently removed by hand. We are careful not to crush the fruit itself."
What is new is the formulation for the preserves. "Most Armenian jams use old Soviet-style recipes with excessive sugar. We stripped it all sown and only add a little brown sugar and a hint of lemon juice as the apricots slowly cook in a beautiful brass container," says Tirakian. "The packaging is also simple: The labels are like wine labels, the top is covered with sun-dried rice paper and the yarn is hand-loomed. We chose natural colors to create the mood of the harvest on the shelves."
In addition to the Apricot Artisanal Preserve, Harvest Song offers 11 other flavors in Armenia, people often enjoy the product by adding a little bit on the top of their yogurt. In the U.S., New York's Artisananl premium Cheese pairs it with Parmigiano-Reeiano, but Tirakian particularly likes it with soft cheeses like brie. The preserves are shelf-stable for three years. Suggested retail, $7/18.9-ounce jar.-S.S. R.S.N. 167