Local Flavor: Bekemeier’s Fruit Butters.
Want to treat your taste buds to a locally made delight? This month, we feature Bekemeier’s luscious fruit butters. Your toast never had it so good.
Did you ever try Bekemeier Fruit Butters at a local craft fair or festival? It’s available in peach, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and apple. And if you tried it a fair, chances are you wanted to buy a jar because it isn’t your typical jelly or jam. It’s thick and delicious, like spreadable fruit leather in a jar. Well, now you can get it year round at most local Walmart and Harter House locations and in several independent grocery, specialty and health food stores in 417-land.
Two years ago, Eric Augspurger, the third-generation family owner of Honey House in Neosho (where the butters had previously been produced using his honey) acquired Bekemeier’s trademark and recipes. “We were already making some jellies and jams, so the butters were in line with our core business,” says Augspurger. “We added some specialty jams, no-sugar-added fruit spreads and other products under the Bekemeier label, and business has tripled.”
Fruit is the primary ingredient in the butters. “We tweaked some of the recipes to include domestically produced fruit,” says Augspurger. “We buy local whenever we can and use locally manufactured jars and labels, too.”
Some are gluten-free and all are naturally low in fat with no artificial sweeteners or flavorings. The fruit butters are kettle-cooked and taste-tested throughout the process. In addition to the fruit butters, the Bekemeier line now includes caramel apple butter, pumpkin butter, Red Hot cinnamon candy apple butter, sorghum molasses, candied jalapeños, pepper jelly, black walnut jelly and pure raw clover honey. Specialty jams including strawberry rhubarb, cherry cobbler and Dutch apple are also available.
You can still buy and sample Bekemeier products at local craft fairs and festivals, but now you can also buy them locally and online. Call Eric Augspurger at 417-451-4969 for more information.