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Our pick this month is The London Jam Factory, a company started in 2014 by confiturier Pierre Louis Phelipot. The London Jam Factory presents a variety of unusual flavours, and you can find delicious and tasty jams in beautifully presented jars. Combinations such as kiwi and mint, apple, caramel and nuts are among over 60 different flavours. We interviewed Pierre Louis and asked more information about his jam-making business.

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Pierre Louis Phelipot

When did you create The London Jam Factory? How did your experience as a confiturier grow over the years?
The company was created back in April 2014 when I quit my job as MD for a big company. I had already started The London Jam Factory before quitting my job, producing jams for my friends, my family and a coffee shop – Maison d etre, in Islington. However the demand was growing and I decided to make the big jump and dive into the exciting world of entrepreurship.

So the London Jam Factory was created and grow nicely month by month.

I always loved jam and was always frustrated to have the same flavour over and over again. This is why I thought I could create flavours which are a bit more interesting and unusual. I starting mixing fruit with essence, herbs, spices and alcohol and it works.

Would you describe the process of jam-making?
The process starts with the selection of the fruit: a lot of people think that overripe or damaged fruit are good for jams. Well, actually it is the opposite; you need to choose them slightly underripe. It really helps to add less sugar and the jam to set properly.

Then comes the cooking. As I put less sugar I need to cook the jam over 2 to 3 days making short and quick boil for maximum of 5 minutes.

This step is very important as if you cook them too long the fruit gets brown or loses all its taste.

What is your favourite selection?
It depends on the day and on the bread I eat with my jams! My partner being German loves strong and heavy sourdough full of seeds. This kind of bread requires very strong jams such as mango and passion fruit. In a yogurt for instance you can treat yourself with more subtle jams such as Raspberry and Geranium or Plum and Hazelnut.

What does make a difference at The London Jam Factory?Mango & Passion Fruit
The fact that we use less sugar. Consequently the jam are healthier and tastier.

What is the function of sugar in jams and how The London Jam Factory priorities fruits over sugar?
The sugar helps the jams to preserve. But jams contains far too much sugar: in a regular jar you can have around 65 to 70% of sugar. This is far too much. At The London Jam Factory we have around 49 to 56 % only. The rest is fruit.

What kitchen tools are unmissable for a successful result?
Copper pan. Copper creates a chemical reaction essential in the jam making process. It cuts the pectin molecule into multiple way and help the setting once the jam is cooked.

Can you give us some tips for making jam at home?

  1. Use slightly underripe fruit
  2. Dont hesitate to put less sugar
  3. Dont leave the jam overcooking
  4. Finally don’t get scared to fail. This is the best learning experience

 

 

PeaSoupEats is a blog started by Aine Carlin in 2010. Aine recently moved back to Cornwall after living in London via Chicago for the past 14 years. PeaSoupEats is a lifestyle blog, where Aine documents what she eats, wears and generally love. Follow her blog , youtube channel, twitter and instagram @AineCarlin. Aine Carlin is the author of  Keep it Vegan and The New Vegan (release date 31st Dec. 2015), published by Kyle Books and available to buy on Amazon and all good bookstores.

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Photography @ Ali Allen

How did PeaSoupEats start and what inspired you to write a blog?
I started PeaSoupEats back in 2010 when food blogging was kind of in its infancy. In all honesty, I wasn’t aware of blogs at the time (in fact, I rarely used the internet) and it was actually my husband’s suggestion to start one, as a way of collating my favourite recipes. It went from there really and eventually became an online diary of sorts (I have the habit of oversharing), where I chronicled my journey into veganism through eating. The blog seems to have grown quite organically and I’ve chosen to keep it ad-free, so I don’t have to make any compromises on content – in that respect, it’s still incredibly personal and a real labour of love.

How would you describe your blog to our readers?
It’s a very honest space where I share simple recipes with a plant-based twist. I focus entirely on the food and never really talk about the ins and outs of veganism, as I’ve always wanted it to be a positive, inclusive place that people can come to and discover vegan food without having to wade through heavy duty posts. Most of the people who read my blog or have bought my book (Keep it Vegan) aren’t even vegan themselves, and I love that – it means they feel comfortable hanging out in my world for a while without feeling judged, which is a huge compliment. I get so many messages from parents who’ve previously struggled to feed their newly vegan teenagers and even grown men trying to alter their lifestyle, all of whom have responded to my straightforward approach to plant-based cooking. I’m not all about ‘healthy’ eating either and like to think I’ve managed to strike a balance between food that feeds the soul and is also a joy to eat – expect kale alongside sugar … although never in the same dish, I hasten to add.

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Photography @ Ali Allen

Can you tell us about your lifestyle?
My lifestyle is pretty ‘normal’ albeit very food centric … I’m always thinking about recipes, flavour combinations and what I’m going to eat next. I live in deepest Cornwall so the pull of the outdoors is always there – we like nothing more than taking long, coastal walks or even casual strolls around our beautiful little village of Mousehole. I fall in and out of love with yoga but mostly my exercise routine involves a pair of wellies and a delightful trudge in the country. Other than that, I write and create recipes, work on my blog, (limited) photography skills, youtube channel and, in wonderfully fifties fashion, ‘keep a nice house’ … I adore interiors and have tried to cultivate a bit of quiet sanctuary for us both. Thanks to my books, every week brings new challenges and I’m always happy to travel for work so my schedule can be a bit helter skelter at times, which is a nice contrast to our simple Cornish lifestyle.

What is your take on organic food?
I try to buy organic as often as possible and tend to apply the ‘clean 15/dirty dozen’ rule when shopping … so spinach, apples and tomatoes are always organic but I might be a more lax on other things, such as pineapple, avocado and onions. With that said, I think the information surrounding organic produce can be exhausting and confusing, and it needs to be made clearer that it’s not simply about taste. I’m equally concerned about the health of our soil (and planet) than I am about our collective personal health. Obviously regularly ingesting food that’s been doused in pesticides can never be good but thankfully things do seem to be improving. Accessibility is key, as is price, so it’s about trying to make those things successfully work in tandem. It’s also a case of supply and demand, therefore the more we support the organic market, the more likely suppliers will be to make the necessary changes.

What is a successful recipe you mastered?
Hmmm, that’s a hard one but it’s probably my ‘Buttermilk’ pancakes … I used to think pancakes minus the egg, and indeed buttermilk, inclusion would be a catastrophe but my plant-based ‘Buttermilk Pancake’ recipe from Keep it Vegan is one of my most popular dishes – even non-vegans use it as their go-to recipe. They are light, fluffy and foolproof – weekends just aren’t the same without a batch of these on the go, I highly recommend them!

Can you tell us your top 3 food websites that inspired you the most?
Joy the Baker was one of the first food blogs I ever read and it’s still one of the best – for me, a successful blog doesn’t just lie in the recipes or images (although they are important) but also in the voice of its creator and Joy is still one of the wittiest, most ‘down-to-earth’ bloggers out there.

Oh Dear Drea is an authentic little blog with a subtle vegan angle. Being a bit of a voyeur I’ve really enjoyed watching this blogger blossom and can’t wait for her new cookbook ‘The Plantiful Table’ … not only does Andrea have great style but her recipes are always really easy and appealing.

Nigella taught me to cook (well, not literally), so I couldn’t not mention her fantastic website, which is like a fabulous mashup of all her all-time greats, as well as a bit of her always welcome ‘witter’. Some people think it’s strange that I worship at the altar of Ms Lawson (what with me being vegan and all) but I honestly have no qualms about admitting to my ongoing obsession.

 

 

 

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Happy Hemp is a hemp seed company founded by Tara Miko.
Tara’s life brought her from fashion in LA to hemp in Austin. A fantastic journey towards a radical change, that started when she got sick, economy hit and she lost her job and healthy insurance. Listening to her body and starting to make her research on healthy food, she discovered the benefits of hemp seeds, which proved to be a surprising superfood and also Tara’s life-changing habit. Visit her website Happy Hemp and see more on her Facebook page.
We had a chat with Tara and we selected Happy Hemp as our blog of the month.

Can you tell our readers about yourself and Happy Hemp?
I went from fashion in LA to hemp in Austin. After a decade in fashion, the travel and long hours were starting to catch up. I began having issues with my digestions. Knowing that food is medicine, I started looking into what I was putting into my body and educating myself about what foods could help with digestion. Hemp is great for digestion… who knew? I was intrigued and started researching this fascinating super seed. Happy Hemp was born out of a complete life change. Job, diet, city… I was in need of change and hemp was the catalyst to get me there.

What inspired you to start Happy Hemp?
I was shocked that one of the most nutritious food sources on earth, was also one of the most unknown sources of food. It started small. Sharing and telling friends and family at first and eventually I realized I was on to something!

What are the main benefits of adding hemp seeds to your daily diet?
Hemp has more protein than meat, fish, tofu or chicken, the perfect ration of omegas, essential fatty acids and minerals and vitamins. It IS the perfect food! Plus it is vegan, raw, a complete protein source, gluten free, dairy free and soy free… Win Win!!

Happy Hemp has a distinctive style. Does this come from your past experience in the fashion industry?
Yes. I wanted to give hemp a much needed green lift. My goal is to be the gourmet hemp seed company. I show how you can make pesto or bake a beautiful nutty crust on a piece of salmon. I have been fortunate enough to work with amazing chefs all over.

Is Happy Hemp your profession or an hobby?
It is my profession and my hobby. I love what I do and it is also my job. I am one of the lucky ones… I get to do what I love.

What is for you the most challenging aspect of this project?
Education. I spend a lot of time telling people I am not a drug dealer. There is a misconception of what hemp is and what it does!! I spend a ton of time telling people what I am not vs what I am.

What was the best achievement since you started?
The best achievement was being able to keep the doors open. Running your own business is hardcore. I have come close to shutting down many many times. I am grateful each day that I get to keep going!

What are the next steps?
I just became a new mum… and I thought running my own company was hard! I have already started experimenting in the kitchen with baby food. Who knows?!

For more information regarding Happy Hemp, visit hTara’s website Happy Hemp.