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Gourmet Cayman-made Pepper Jelly — a hobby gone mad!

peppersWhat started as hobby for an avid backyard gardener has now become a “must have” in Cayman households and a perfect souvenir gift to take back home – Hot gourmet pepper jelly guaranteed to get your taste buds flowing. It’s made from locally grown scotch bonnet peppers and what Caymanians call “seasoning” peppers.

But, the list of ingredients does not stop there … freshly ground Jamaican pimento, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, onions, and other locally grown species of West Indian peppers and sweet peppers make up this spicy gourmet delight produced by Carol Hay. The pepper jelly’s delicious blend of sweet, tangy and hot is sure to add a tasty kick to any table.

Carol says making the pepper jelly is a tedious time-consuming process and not a very pleasant task either. “When making it I have resorted to wearing a mask and snorkel so the pepper fumes don’t knock me out,” she comments.

Not only does Carol make the jelly herself but she also grows her own peppers in her back yard on the outskirts of George Town. When local peppers went to almost CI$10 a pound, Carol had to find another source for her peppers so she started growing more peppers and now has over 45 bushes of varying species. She cultivates most of them in large pots so she is able to bring them inside her garage when a hurricane threatens!

“Peppers are not the easiest thing to cultivate as they are attacked by a multitude of pests and require lots of water. I nearly lost my entire crop once because of a virus and had to resort to buying them from Mr. Willy’s farm in North Side.” When demand is high Carol also relies on her network of backyard farmers to provide her with peppers.

The reason the pepper jelly sells at a whopping price is because of the huge amount of peppers that are required and the cost of the pectin is expensive. Carol tried cheaper brands of pectin to bring the cost down but found it did not give the desired consistency. Those who have sampled her product and purchased it say it is expensive but well worth it because it definitely has an unbeatable homemade taste.

To rave about this product call Carol: 526-6932 or email Cayman Pepper Patch Ltd: chay@BrittHay.com