April 2nd has been designated as National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, celebrating the perfect pairing of two of American’s favorite foods, schmeared onto bread. And there’s a way to make the famous P&J sandwich “authentic Pueblo-style” with Jammin’ Jellies made with Jalapeños, Habaneros Chiles and Pueblo’s beloved Mirasol Chiles.
Founder of Hacienda Maize, Terri Maize of Denver created a trio of jams made with Pueblo chiles grown from Milberger Farms in Pueblo: Fire-Roasted Mira Sol Chile, Fire-Roasted Jalapeno and Jalapeno Diablo, all three of which are still selling strong about a decade after her creations.
“We are about the Chile,” Maize said. “We are about crafting chile pepper velvet: no chile powders, flakes or oils. Add your own fruits and berries to add variation or garnish.”
The jams have won championship awards in competitions for many years. Maize said the jellies are great with peanut butter, dressing up snacks and other gourmet recipes, many of which she shares on her website http://haciendamaize.com/.
Maize favors Pueblo’s superior farm grown chiles and at times she personally makes trips to local farms to buy them direct and to showcase her products at Milbergers Farm, Springside Cheese, Musso Farms and other locations. She also enjoys visiting the Pueblo Chile Fest each year.
The business owner says Pueblo’s famed Mirasol – “looks at the sun,” is the best chiles for her jelly. The Chile was created in Pueblo by Dr. Michael Bartolo, a crop specialist and manager of CSU’s Research center in Rocky Ford. The Chile has a thicker wall, making it ideal for roasting and creating Chile-related products with.
To make a PB&J… well, you don’t need instructions do you? Just put the peanut butter and jam inside two pieces of bread. Or, as Maize says, you can use one piece of bread or a waffle and eat it for breakfast to help speed up your metabolism. Speaking of metabolism, she refers to a story by Doctor Oz, who put hot pepper jelly as number one on a list of belly flatteners:
Dr Oz said, “The first step to blasting belly fat is to rev your metabolism. Ignite your body’s fat-burning engines by eating hot pepper jelly. This condiment is packed with capsaicin, a chemical that puts the kick in peppers and speeds metabolism up to 20% for 30 minutes after you eat it. Take advantage of these benefits early in the day by having 2 tablespoons of hot pepper jelly every morning. Spread it on a whole wheat English muffin or eggs. It costs around $5 and you can find it at most supermarkets and online.”
Maize’s trio of jellies are also sold locally at Milberger Farms and Springside Cheese and at retail locations throughout the entire state with online ordering available from the company website.
Find out more on the company’s Facebook page, including retail locations and recipes, and at their website.
Story by Jenny Paulson