A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 23, 2006
Jalapeño Jelly

Jalapeño jelly is a good use of the official state pepper of Texas, the jalapeño. Hundreds of websites state: “Jalapeno pepper jelly originated in Lake Jackson and was first marketed in 1978.” Some of the websites state that “jalapeño jelly” was first originated (and not simply first marketed) in 1978. No additional evidence is provided.

Newspapers mention “jalapeño jelly” from at least 1971. There is no reason to suspect that Lake Jackson played any especially significant part in the development of this food. Jalapeño jelly can be used as an appetizer with cornbread or crackers, or added to roast meats.


Food Reference
Texas First, Facts and Trivia
Jalapeno pepper jelly originated in Lake Jackson and was first marketed in 1978.

Texas Food Directory
Cherith Valley Gardens Inc.
P.O. Box 9654
Fort Worth, TX 76147-2654
Contact: Ms. Terri C. Werner
Telephone: (817) 338-4539
Brands: Cherith Valley Gardens
Products: Corn Relish, Red and White Wine Jelly, Margarita Jellly, Jalapeno Jelly, Hot Pepper Sauce, Pickled Okra, Jalapeno Peppers, “Hot ‘n Spicy” Sweet Relish, “Hot ‘n Spicy” Corn Relish, and “Hot ‘n Spicy” Dill Pickles

Hay-Mel Corporation
2523 Avenue H
Rosenberg, TX 77471
Contact: Mr. Hayes Horn
Telephone: (713) 342-2954
Brands: Daddy’s
Products: Jalapeno Jelly, Picante Sauce, Marinara Sauce, Brabecue Sauce, Chili Sauce, Honey, Spaghetti Sauce, and Italian Sauce

The Juarez Chile Co.
P.O. Box 33695
San Antonio, TX 78265
Contact: Ms. Kem Brown
Telephone: (800) 221-3578
Brands: The Juarez Chile Company
Products: Mustards, Barbecue Sauce, Jalapeno Jelly, Jalapeno Ketchup, Fajita Marinade, and Salsas

Lazy Susan, Inc.
P.O. Box 10438
San Antonio, TX 78210
Contact: Ms. Charlene Reeves
Telephone: (210) 690-3613
Brands: Old San Antonio Style, Texas Gold
Products: Mexican Sauces, Jalapeno Ketchup, Jalapeno Mustard, Jalapeno Jelly

Monterrey Products Co., Inc.
803 South Zarzamora
San Antonio, TX 78207
Contact: Mr. Ernesto De Los Santos
Telephone: (210) 435-2872
Brands: Monterrey Products
Products: Jalapeno Jelly, Salsas, Mexican Candy, Queso Dip, Picante Sauce

Ooten Foods
606 South Waterview Dr.
Richardson, TX 75080
Contact: Ms. Karen Ibarguen
Telephone: (214) 680-8836
Brands: Ooten Foods
Products: Jalapeno Jelly, Relish, Salsa

Sam Lewis & Associates, Inc.
420 North Van Buren
San Angelo, TX 76901
Contact: Ms. Betty Lewis
Telephone: (915) 658-1432
Brands: Jalapeno Sam
Products: Jalapeno Jelly, Jalapeno Salsa

Shell Ridge Jalapeno Project
1432 South Highway 35
Rockport, TX 78382
Contact: Ms. Kay Segura Christian
Telephone: (512) 790-8028
Brands: Kay’s Hot Stuff
Products: Hot Mushrooms, Jalapenos(Sweet and Hot), Jalapeno Jelly,Salsa de Tomatillo

Silva Swan, Inc.
Route 1, Box 47
Industry, TX 78944
Contact: Diane L. Rhine
Telephone: (409) 836-2217
Brands: Texas Fun Feed & Visions of Gourmet
Products: Dry Dip Mixes, Snack Mixes, Jalapeno Jelly, Sweet and Hot Jalapenos, Cherry Jalapenos (Sweet and Hot), Pineapple Jalapenos (Sweet and Hot)

6 April 1971, Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), pg. 5 ad:
FOR TASTE EXCITEMENT
TRY LAS FLORES
JALAPENO JELLY

16 November 1973, Baytown (TX) SUn, pg. 8, col. 2:
Hot Pepper Jelly
Minnie Belle Davis

3/4 cups bell pepper
1/4 cup Jalapeno pepper
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups apple
cider vinegar
Boil ingredients two minutes and let stand ten minutes. Add one bottle of certo and let stand ten more minutes before pouring into jars. Add green or red coloring if desired.

21 August 1975, Los Angeles Times, “Jalapeno Chile Via Guadalajara” by Barbara Hansen, pg. G10:
A recipe for jalapeno jelly has appeared before and is being repeated by request. Don’t be alarmed by the ugly, murky color of the green pepper and jalapeno mixture as it boils. The peppers and chiles are strained out, and a few drops of food color transform the liquid into a beautiful green.
(...)
JALAPENO JELLY
3/4 cup ground green peppers
1/2 cup ground jalapeno chiles
6 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 (6-ounce) bottle liquid pectin
Green food color
Remove seeds before grinding green peppers and chiles. Grind using fine blade of meat grinder. Mix green peppers, chiles, sugar and vinegar and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add pectin and 4 or 5 drops food color. Mix well. Strain into hot sterilized jars and seal. Makes about 6 half pints.
Note: If skin is sensitive, wear protective gloves when handling peppers and chiles.

26 September 1982, Washington Post, pg. M55:
D. L. Jardine’s Texas Chili Spices & Fixin’s date back to the 1880s when the chuckwagon was traveling the trail. (...) Try Texas Champagne (hot pepper sauce), Jalapeno Jelly (try it on a bagel),...

17 July 1983, Los Angeles Times, “sweetening up to the fiery jalapeno” by Mary Pat Dorr, pg. T16:
What comes next is a two-fold bonus: the satisfaction you can derive from transforming your crop into a tangy/sweet jelly—to serve as an appetizer with crackers and cream cheese—and a stock of pantry gifts packaged in decorative pint jars ready on a moment’s notice to give to special friends. But beware! This zingy palate sensation is habit-forming and fanatical fans won’t leave you alone until you brew up another batch.

Ah, you say, but what does this unusual concoction taste like? Set your taster to the familiar tang of chili peppers, modified by the sweetness of sugar.

15 December 1983, Washington Post, pg A43 Safeway supermarket ad:
Jalapeno Jelly Reese 10-oz. jar $1.29

14 April 1985, Chicago , “A Diner’s Guide” by Stephen Birnbaum, pg. K4:
Jalapeno: Hot green chili pepper most commonly associated with Tex-Mex cuisine. Also used to make a jelly that’s terrific on cornbread or with roast meats.

26 February 1986, Washington Post, Anne’s Exchange, pg. E20:
HOT PEPPER JELLY
(Fills seven 8-ounce glasses)

1 1/2 cups vinegar—divided
1 cup bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
5 1/2 to 6 cups sugar
Green or red food coloring
6-ounce bottle liquid fruit pectin
Melted paraffin, if not using lidded jars

Note: Wear kitchen gloves when handling jalapeno peppers; the oils can irritate skin and eyes.

Place 1/2 cup vinegar with both peppers and onion in a blender. Reduce vegetables to a fine puree.

Pour the contents through a fine strainer or a cheesecloth-lined colander set over a large kettle; mash solids against sides with a wooden spoon so that all juice is released, then discard the solids.

Add remaining vinegar, the sugar and a few drops of food coloring to the juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for several minutes.

Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes. Skim off any foam that rises to top. Stir in liquid pectin.

Pour into hot, sterilized jars. If not using lids, cover jelly with 1/8-inch coating of melted paraffin.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Saturday, December 23, 2006 • Permalink