Jampot

Review by: Michael Stern

The Jampot closes in the winter and reopens in the spring. It is not a restaurant and there is no place to eat on premises. But when you get your food and exit the front door, you have access to one of the most beautiful dining spaces on the planet: the great outdoors of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In this fairy-tale hut in the Eagle Harbor forest, monks of the Society of Saint John make and sell baked goods and jams.

One inhalation after stepping out of the car in the parking lot, and you know you have found culinary treasure. The air swirls with the warm smell of breads baking and of Jamaican black cake and sourdough cake soaked with liquor and filled with fruits that have been marinated in wine and rum. Intoxicating as these pleasure are, Saint John brothers are equally known for the jams and jellies they make from Keweenaw’s wild fruits: thimbleberry, strawberry, raspberry, bilberry, blueberry, dewberry, cokecherry, pincherry, sugarplum, blackberry, and apple. The repertoire of baked goods also includes cookies, muffins, and candies.

I grabbed a big, muffin-shaped banana walnut bread packed with blueberries, a bag of molasses-powered gingerbread cookies, and a lemon-frosted pumpkin muffin, then drove to a nearby snacking spot overlooking achingly beautiful Lake Medora. Gazing at the opposite shore, where autumn trees were perfectly mirrored on the still blue waters, I was in heaven, thanks in part to the divine baking of the monks.

What To Eat

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Banana Walnut Bread

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