eneath the benevolent gaze of a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha, Molly Sholes of West Rockport, creates an array of unique specialty foods that subtly blend the flavors of East and West. After a nineteen-year sojourn in India and Pakistan, Molly now harvests wild Maine blueberries from the rocky slopes of Spruce Mountain, combining them with a treasured recipe adapted from a dog-eared North Indian cookbook. The exotic result is the Spruce Mountain line of wild blueberry condiments.
Spruce Mountain, rising dramatically from the western coastline of Maine’s Penobscot Bay, has for centuries boasted an abundant crop of wild blueberries. The headquarters of Spruce Mountain Blueberries—an eighteenth century yellow farmhouse set amid 110 hilly acres—has only had electricity for a few years, but the building now hums with activity, as the blueberries move from field to farm-shed to finished product. Each August, a busy crew harvests the berries and transports them to the farm-shed, where the berries are winnowed and picked over, ready for use in an ever-expanding line of specialty products.
The “secret ingredient” of Spruce Mountain conserve and chutneys is garam masala—a special blend of selected spices concocted by Molly after her years in the East. All of the spices are roasted and ground in small batches to ensure freshness. The garam masala is then combined with Spruce Mountain’s wild berries, plus sugar, red pepper, fresh ginger, and vinegar, and simmered slowly for up to three hours until the mixture reaches just the right flavor and consistency.
Newly developed products—such as wild blueberry vinegar, jam, and topping—have been designed to appeal to more traditional palates.