• Regina Sugayama

Let’s hear it for the boy

Red Berries Jam

Red is the color of passionate love and this jam will remind you of leisurely breakfasts in bed. Spread it on whatever you like to eat in the morning be it fresh bread, warm American-style pancakes or a decadent chocolate muffin. Mix it with natural yogurt or curd for an easy-to-make energizing, smoothie. Or use it as a topping for cheesecake and panna cotta. Its sweetness lies between the Strawberry jam and the slightly more tart Blackberry jam.


Strawberries, blackberries, sugar, lemon juice

Excellent Pairings

Fresh bread, toast, warm pancakes, natural yogurt, desserts


I used to make this jam to gift friends and family, and also to my team at the consultancy business I have run since 2002. In 2015 or so when Bernardo, an 18-yr old trainee on the team, told me “man, you should sell this jam.” I promptly rejected the idea. Cooking was a hobby and I had a busy work and travel agenda. I cooked to relax and I had no intention of transforming into business. But Bernardo was a persistent young man and I finally agreed to give him a few jars he could try to sell.

I printed some very unattractive labels – the best I could with limited graphic design ability – and attached them to the jars with adhesive tape! I gave him a very doubting look, not believing he would manage to sell them. But Bernardo, always the entrepreneur, came back next week with no less than eight orders from retailers in the Central Market of Belo Horizonte. This is how we started and now friends and family may choose among many exciting jam flavors.


The majority of Brazil’s strawberries – a delicate subtropical fruit – is grown in the state of Minas Gerais, where I live. The are available almost all year long.

The blackberry, a temperate-to-subtropical plant – is grown all over the world. In Brazil, blackberries are produced mainly in Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul. The sweeter strawberry combined with the more tart blackberry is a match made in heaven.

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