Treasure by the Sea
Find Treasure by the Sea at:
Osterville and Sandwich Farmers’ Markets
Marshland Restaurant, Sandwich
Windfall Market, Falmouth
North Falmouth Cheese Shop, Falmouth
I have known of Jean Tempesta’s jams, jellies and pickles for several years. Made from the fruits of Cape Cod, they are sold in shops around the area. But it was at the Osterville Farmers’ Market that I finally connected with Jean.
My first question: How did she begin to make Treasure by the Sea into a business?
“I’ve been foraging for native fruits all my life with my eight brothers and sisters, grandparents, mom and dad. My recipes come from my English third- and fourth-generation family, and this is my eleventh year in business.”
We talked about many of her unusual jams and the way she makes them. “This is one of my popular jams,” Tempesta said of her rose hip jam, “but it is very time-consuming. You have to remove all the seeds first, and then you cook down the small pieces of fruit. You really need a lot of rose hips to make a pint of jelly.”
Her signature jelly is the autumn berry. She described the tree or shrub with leaves that look like those of olive trees; they produce a red berry in the fall. I immediately pictured what she was talking about:autumn olive! I remember harvesting them along the Cape Cod Canal a few years ago and later making a grapefruit Campari sorbet with the juice.
Tempesta went on to describe the benefits of this berry that’s native to Cape Cod. “The autumn berry, or autumn tiny berry, has high levels of vitamins A, C, and E and is supposed to have huge medicinal properties. The early settlers would go out in the fall and search for the leaf that looks like the olive trees back in their countries, that’s how it got its name. It was a staple, and they are said to have suffered less disease because of it.”
Tempesta shared uses for her kitchen’s bounty. “My products are not just for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” she said. “I use my cranberry chutney on top of pork chops and bake them in a 350-degree oven until done. The flavors get into the meat, keeping it moist. It is amazing! The chutney is perfect on a cheese platter with fruit, and I add it to my stuffing for striped bass. It’s excellent.”
“The beach plum jelly makes a tasty glaze on a pork tenderloin. Just put a little in a saucepan, slowly break it down to liquid form, and brush it on like you would any glaze. The same can be done with my rose hip jelly. It makes a beautiful glaze for grilled salmon.”
“My products add flavor to the ordinary!” Tempesta exclaims