By Molly Norton
Follow me on the Twitters: Follow @mollyanorton
“The way I see it, life is a jelly doughnut. You don’t really know what it’s about until you bite into it. And then, just when you decided it’s good, you drop a big glob of jelly on your best T-shirt.”
But if you’re really lucky, that jelly will be Kelly’s Jelly and that doughnut will be from Voodoo Doughnuts – two tastes that mate once a week to birth a quintessential Portland treat (check them out on Thursdays at Voodoo, Portlanders).
We caught up with the mistress of jelly-making herself, Kelly Calabria, at Blue Moon Coffee in Lake Oswego. Blue Moon features Kelly’s blueberry lemon jelly in their drool-worthy gluten-free jam thumbprint cookies, so it was a perfect place to do jelly reconnaissance.
Fascinating Facts about Kelly and Kelly’s Jelly
- Kelly’s Jelly is a a true Portland story: borne from a jelly-and-tear stained family recipe found on a scrap of paper, The Calabrias started making their famous Habanero pepper jelly for family and friends and it quickly morphed into a mighty local empire – all through word of mouth. (Thanks, Aunt Dani!)
- Kelly and Adam once hired the founder of Voodoo Doughnuts’ band “Karaoke From Hell” and their relationship was forever cemented — in jelly and sweet, sticky doughnut glaze (hat tip to Voodoo founder, Tres Shannon).
- Kelly’s Jelly has delighted a Royal family in Kuwait and has traveled as far as Europe and South Africa.
- The Jelly recently captured First Place in the international Scovie Awards – the world’s largest spicy food competition.
- Kelly holds a degree in biology from University of Oregon – which explains why this jelly has a perfect consistency and flavor balance.
- In true Portland fashion, Kelly’s Jelly is
- Gluten-free – wheeeeee.
- All natural, uses the highest quality, fresh & locally sourced berries and peppers (whenever possible).
- Committed to supporting all entrepreneurs and local business owners.
Cool Stuff You Can Do With Kelly’s Jelly
- Need a quick appetizer? Pour the Habanero Pepper Jelly over the top of a brick of cream (or goat) cheese et voilà! You can also spread the cheese over a slice of sweetheart ham from Olympic Provisions, add jelly, and roll.
- Layer a buttery cracker with delicate chicken liver mousse from Olympic Provisions and a tsp of Kelly’s Blackberry, Tayberry, or Marionberry jam on top and watch your guests fight over the last one.
- Millions of people are now using the Habanero Pepper Jelly in place of chutney in South Asia — ok, maybe not yet, but it’s coming.
- More recipes can be found here – including “Kelly’s Jelly 3 Ways,” “Kelly’s SuperBowl Wings,” and Crave Bake Shop’s “Spicy Bellini Cupcake,” as seen on Food Network’s “Cupcakes Wars.”
Where to Buy
For your all your cooking and gifting needs, Kelly’s Jelly can be found throughout the land at several fine establishments, including Zupan’s, New Seasons, and Market of Choice.
Don’t live in Oregon? You can sate your craving by ordering online. Everybody is doing it.
Note: This is a Fan Site. No Jelly was harmed in the making of this blog post – nor did any money or cases of jelly change hands.