Mom & Daughter: Bellande
Mother & Daughter: Cuckita & Valerie Bellande of Rochelois Jams

I’ll start by saying that I have a soft spot for small businesses. Located in the Gateway Shopping Center on east Sunrise Blvd, is an amazing little shop called Thousand Pound Egg, the brainchild of Karen Gavrilov.  What’s the story behind the name, you wonder?  Karen says it’s a reference to the ideas hatching in her head.

This past Saturday, Thousand Pound Egg hosted a tasting of Rochelois‘ jams… a local family business producing a variety of tropical flavors like starfruit, mango, passion fruit, rose, tamarind, jackfruit, guanabana, hibiscus, jalapeno, calmondin. The fruits are organically grown, picked and preserved by the family or sourced from 1 of 3 farms in the Redlands of Miami.

Valerie greeted us and introduced her mom, founder Cuckita, who was a fountain of information. She shared some of the nutritional benefits of guanabana (also known as soursop, corossol, etc), discussed the jackfruit and how on Thanksgiving she’ll occasionally roast and serve its seeds like chestnuts! We were provided samples of various jams, Karen offered scones, we tasted cucumber soda (which sounds weird, but was delicious), I was enamored by the books (Cooking with the Two Fat Ladies, The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American), browsed the shelves lined with items such as olives oils, salts, blue cheese powder, earthenwares.

I left with a jar of the Tasty Tamarind jam and the wish that I lived closer.

MAY 30: Cacao! From Bean to Bar: Educational Talk & Tasting

Why does it take 40 days to get from fruit to bean? What is the process of chocolate making? How can Cacao Beans and Nibs and Powder be used and what is the difference between them? How can you make your own chocolate at home with the equipment you already have? Why is this raw product SO good for you? What scientific studies have shown about cacao in its raw state. Uses, techniques and lore.