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.

Black Rock Orchard fruit roll-ups (and produce) are sold at the following farmers markets: FreshFarm Penn Quarter (Thursdays) and FreshFarm Dupont Circle and Takoma Park (Sundays).