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    Homemade peppermint bark, your great-aunt’s pecan pie, cookies shaped like reindeer (courtesy of Pinterest( and classic hot cocoa spiked with Bailey’s are among the most popular holiday favorites, sure to fill your family’s tabletop this season. And though the holidays are prime time for sugary treats, let us not forget to make room at the table for sugar’s perfect partner: spice!

    And when it comes to spicing up your holiday – and every day, for that matter – leave it to Caldwell’s Quirky Cookery’s unique selection of homemade preserves. But don’t let the simple promise of classic preserves fool you— this isn’t your grandma’s jam.

    Currently cooking at the Russell Neighborhood’s Chef Space, the business’ founder, Zac Caldwell shared the full scoop on his new company (and a few full scoops of some of his favorite original preserves) with 

    “I was living in Florida when I was visiting friends earlier this year. I was at Waterfront Wednesday in April and I just looked around and realized that I wanted to be in this city. I wanted to work for myself and this is what I know how to do,” explained Caldwell. “I knew I could bring a different voice to preserves and I knew that Louisville was the only city in the world where I could go to do all of the things that I wanted to do.” And just like that, Caldwell relocated to Louisville and Caldwell’s Quirky Cookery was born. 

    Image: Caldwell's Quirky Cookery

    And along with that miraculous birth came these mind-blowing preserves that was lucky enough to sample:

    Peach Habanero Marmalade
    Reintroduce your taste buds to the sweet syrupy nectar found only in the first bite of a juicy golden peach. And just when you ask yourself, “Where’s the habanero?” Suddenly, there it is! A kick in the back of your throat to give the sweet jelly just what it needed to make the flavor really pop.’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (5 stars if you’re a fan of sweet, rather than spicy)

    Ginger Cranberry Lime
    Before sampling this one-of-a-kind concoction, I never would have dreamed of saucing sushi with jam. But one bite of this sweet and sour preserve made me crave a California roll. The only thing it was missing was a dash of wasabi. (Hint hint, Caldwell).’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, for its uniqueness!

    Blackberry Ghost Pepper Jam
    You don’t have to be a Ghostbuster to love this preserve. Though the name may declare a promise of ultimate spice, this thick jam is definitely more sweet than spicy, in every good way. This is perfect for surprising family members with a flavorful kick on an otherwise deliciously sweet blackberry jam-filled biscuit. Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Habanero Jelly
    One taste of this and I was officially a spice girl. This jelly offers the same kick as the Peach Habanero Marmalade, only there’s no sweet beginning. It's ideal for fans of spicy foods. It’s the perfect hot sauce for everything from biscuits to chicken wings.’s Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Spiced Orange Jelly
    I interrupted Zac Caldwell after tasting this incredible flavor to proclaim, “This tastes like Christmas!” And it’s still the most honest description I can give. Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


    The company’s next move? Pickles. Ghost Pepper Pickled Carrots, to be exact.

    Caldwell’s Quirky Cookery is currently taking orders for preserves to be shipped in January. You can check out all of Caldwell’s unique preserves and place an order on the company’s website


    Photo courtesy of Caldwell's Quirky Cookery. 

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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