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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Editor's Choice: Bigg Riggs

We all love tastes that remind us of home, so for my first editor’s choice blog, I chose two products from Bigg Riggs, a West Virginia-based company that sells jams, BBQ sauce, apple butter and other items at farmer’s markets in Northern Virginia. I hadn’t tried the products before, but I have a fondness for that part of the country, since I lived in Washington, DC for four years before relocating to Chicago this summer. I love the southern-tinged tastes you can find in that area, plus the company has a great back-story, making it a no-brainer to sample the products.

Bigg Riggs is the brainchild of Calvin Riggleman, who would reminisce about his family’s farm in Hampshire County, West Virginia to his army buddies while he was stationed in Iraq in 2003. The farm has been in the Riggleman family since the 1940s, and Riggleman’s fellow soldiers gave him the idea to jar fruits and sell them at farmers markets. Soon he added vegetables and the product line grew, eventually being sold at Whole Foods stores in Northern Virginia.

I started with the Hot Pepper Jelly, which comes in a 12 oz. jar. The jelly is the number one selling Bigg Riggs product, and with good reason — it’s a delicious concoction of sweet and heat that’s perfect slathered on a cracker with a bed of cream cheese. It’s accessible for different palates, so you’ll still appreciate it if spicy food isn’t your thing.

I also tried the Strawberry Biscuit Fixer, a charmingly named classic jam that has as many uses as you can think up. I tried a bite right out of the 12 oz. jar, and it has a fresh-made taste that isn’t too sweet. Try it on morning toast, in a nostalgic peanut butter and jelly sandwich or even as an ice cream topping. Jams are made with pure cane sugar and all Bigg Riggs products are made with all-natural ingredients.

Each jar is $6, and you can learn more about Bigg Riggs on their web site.

— Amy