Pepper Jelly Perfection

The results are in! Thirteen experts, some with as much as 40 years of tailgating experience, donated time and taste buds as panelists to select the perfect pepper jelly. I am pleased to announce the top three fan favorites and enjoyed serving the first-place winner with Ritz crackers and cream cheese during our first tailgate of the season:

1st: Braswell’s Savory Sweet Heat Hot Jalapeno JellyGrocery Store
2nd: Tomato Land Hot Pepper JellyTomato Land, Tallahassee, FL
3rd: Lyman Walker Groves Hot Pepper Jelly Roadside Store, Monticello, FL

Recap of the contenders and the pepper jelly party.

It was great to see some local jellies represented in the winner’s circle, but the results show the more widely recognized Braswell’s brand must be doing something right. It was hailed for its spicy-sweet balance along with the jelly’s “attractiveness.”

We sure had fun picking pepper jellies. I hope you find these results useful when entertaining in the future, and please continue to submit your favorite brand(s) for consideration in any additional challenges. A big thank you to all who participated!




The Perfect Pepper Jelly: A Heated Competition

One of my favorite snacks, especially during tailgate season, is pepper jelly with cream cheese and Ritz crackers. It’s a quickly prepped and easily addicting treat with a perfect balance of spicy-sweetness and creamy-crunchiness. There are quite a few delicious pepper jelly options out there, so I recruited a pepper jelly panel to help select the fan-favorite prior to football season.

The Contenders:

  1. Redfearn Pepper JellyProduct of Dixie, GA | Purchased at Tomato Land, Tallahassee, FL
  2. Tomato Land Hot Pepper JellyTomato Land, Tallahassee, FL
  3. Braswell’s Savory Sweet Heat Hot Jalapeno JellyGrocery Store
  4. Braswell’s Select Red Pepper Jelly World Market
  5. Lyman Walker Groves Hot Pepper JellyRoadside Store, Monticello, FL
  6. Palmalito Jalapeno Pepper Jelly Grocery Store

After assembling highly experienced tailgate experts through a Paperless Post invitation, I conducted a semi-scientific study. Each pepper jelly was rated by the panelists with a score between 1 and 10, 1 being less enjoyable and 10 being pepper jelly perfection (multiple jellies could receive the same score).

The table numbers from our wedding (Save yours! They come in handy!) made great jelly identifiers – hand-painted numbers were inserted into the ever-versatile Tolsby frames from IKEA. Some burlap fabric laid over a hat box gave the tablescape some height and created sort of a rustic-veggie-stand texture. Some quick paper dots in peppery colors added to the fun.

Now, before you get all riled up because your favorite pepper jelly was not included, I will say this may just be the preliminary round. If you have a suggested, must-try pepper jelly, please send in your suggestions!

So. Are you ready to learn which jelly reigned supreme? I know the suspense is killing the panelists in particular. You will just have to check back soon to find the winner posted in the Food & Beverage section!