Local bluegrass star Trisha Gagnon can now claim the title of world champion jam-maker.
A precious jar of her organic raspberry jam was bubble-wrapped earlier this summer and shipped to Perthshire Scotland, where it just captured the “World Jampionship” award.
Gagnon, who sings and plays upright bass with John Reischman and the Jaybirds, has been selling her jam at her gigs for the past eight years, alongside her CDs.
Boysenberry, blackberry, and strawberry jam as well as her grape jelly, have become very popular with discerning fans.
This July she prepared her entry in the artisan jam-maker category and was surprised she came in first place.
“What is even more incredible is that I won best overall the entries, and now have the title of ‘Overall Jampion: Berry Best Raspberry Jam in the World!” she says.
She was shocked when she received the news by email Saturday night from Europe.
“I didn’t know there was an overall winner,” she says. “I was notified by the competition organizers and I was excited because they were excited.”
That part of Scotland is well-known for its wonderful berries and preserves.
“Someone said it’s like going to France and winning the baguette making contest.”
So what’s her secret to making exceptionally delicious berry jam?
“I grow my own berries here at the farm in Chilliwack. I tend the vines and handpick the fruit myself.”
She’s been growing organic food for a long time and says that makes a difference, too.
“I spend many long hours pruning and picking, and it’s also where I sing songs and think of new songs to write.”
She’s going to need new labels printed up with the jam award details. It means new bragging rights.
“It’s a fairly lofty title,” she says. “It is such a huge honour. Hopefully it means a few more people will be enjoying my jam.”
Check out her booth at the Chilliwack Farmers’ Market in the parking lot of Minter Country Garden store on Young Road Saturday, Sept. 10, for the last time this season or at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market Saturday, on Oct. 8.
Check out more about the jam awards at www.lovetoeatperthshire.co.uk/latestnews/the-world-jam-awards.html