Laena McCarthy is a total badass, so it makes sense that her company, Anarchy In A Jar, started kind of, sort of-ish illegally.
Anarchy In A Jar started with humble beginnings but has now blossomed into a jam company that anyone would be proud to write home about. For starters, the ingredients come from local farms, the founder, Laena, is handcrafting each batch out of Brooklyn, NY, and everyone from the NY Times to Saveur to that food blogger you follow religiously are singing Anarchy’s praises. Not. too. shabby.
Plus, Laena cleared this little confusing ditty up for me, which basically was the highlight of my week:
“Jam tends to be a blanket term for any preserved fruit, but in fact, jam is fruit that has been smashed up with sugar, cooked down to a certain consistency.”
(Listen to the show to hear from the expert how jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves and conserves are different.)
So, what’d we talk about?
I’m not just saying this because you and Laena are reading it, but this is one of the favorite interviews I’ve ever done. No, seriously, I don’t say that to all the guys and gals. I had a great time asking Laena about how she got started, whyTF she was in Antarctica and how she’d sum up her food philosophy. Even if you’re all, “I’ve, like, totally given up sugar so umm…no thanks,” you’ll still love this show. And also, Anarchy is lower in sugar than other jams due to Laena’s unique technique. She talks about that in the show, too, so c’mon. You should be listening already.
We’re everywhere! Everywhere I tell you!
Show notes [times are approximate]:
Laena’s food philosophy [1:50]
How labeling can be problematic [4:33]
Why telling the story of food is so important [5:34]
How Laena named her company [7:47]
Laena’s unique jam making technique [9:02]
Differences between jams, jellies, marmalades, preserves and conserves [10:33]
Where did Laena’s love for good food come from? [12:55]
Travel stories [16:25]
Growing and eating food in Antarctica [18:05]
How Anarchy blossomed…kind of illegally [22:09]
How has food (and Brooklyn) changed since Anarchy launched in 2009? [28:58]
Laena’s advice for someone considering a career as a food entrepreneur [33:51]
What advice would she give her younger self? [41:29]
Quick fire questions [43:53]
What’s next for Anarchy? [45:53]
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