Jam maker wins ‘sweet’ award

Brian Olesen of Palisade, owner of Colorado Mountain Jam, offers a taste of beer jelly. He makes gourmet jams at his business, Plum Daisy Kitchen, 3573 G Road. Olesen won an award from the National Association of Specialty Foods for his mixed berry jam of strawberries, blueberries and rhubarb.

Colorado Mountain Jam owners Brian and Judith Olesen of Palisade won “the Academy Award of food” last month when their mixed berry jam was named outstanding USDA certified organic product by the National Association of Specialty Foods.

This was the Olesens’ second win in that category at the association’s semiannual Fancy Foods Show, which took place July 11 in Washington, D.C.

The couple’s first win in the organic category at the Fancy Foods Show was in 2007.

Colorado Mountain Jam products have won four awards in other National Association of Specialty Foods categories in the past four years.

The competition has 33 categories for foods, including jams, desserts, crackers and cheeses.

“It’s the premiere specialty food show in the world. Literally the premium food manufacturing companies from some 80 countries compete for these awards,” Brian Olesen said.

Colorado Mountain Jam is made at 3573 G Road. The commercial kitchen produces more than two dozen varieties of jam as well as wine jellies.

Brian Olesen said he’s experimenting with beer jellies made from Kannah Creek and Rockslide brews.

While he is honored to have local fans, Olesen said the “very specific palettes” of national judges help him feel comfortable that he’s making a stellar product, including the award-winning mix of blueberries, strawberries and rhubarb.

“This is the best of the best of the world,” Olesen said.


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