Things We Love: Black Rock Orchard Fruit Roll-Ups
Fruit Roll-ups: All the cool moms bought the General Mills treats for recess snacking. And if a mom was really cool, she'd get the Rainbow Roll-up. Peeling the tri-colored "fruit" snack off the cellophane always made that three-second crackle so rewarding. But in today's pro-natural and anti-lab-generated food world, the nostalgic, mass-marketed roll-up is—locally, at least—getting some healthy competition.
Emily Zaas of Carroll County, Maryland 's Black Rock Orchard sells a homemade fruit roll-up ($2 each) each week at local farmers markets (see locations below). No matter what the roll-up's flavor is, Zaas starts with an applesauce puree for its base, then adds whatever fruit is peaking on her 65-acre farm. Lately, it’s been cherries and berries and she’s been experimenting with the almost out-of-season blueberries and gooseberries.
Zaas’s roll-ups don’t have cartoon punch-out shapes or tongue tattoos like some supermarket versions, but they do include a friendly paper fortune. My All Apple roll-up—a flavor sold year-round—echoed important words by Christian theologian Martin Luther: "Even if I knew I were going to die tomorrow, I would still plant my apple trees." The quotes and aphorisms change with every roll, and sometimes include facts about her farmer cronies at the weekly markets.