Frequently Asked Questions
What is Puree?
Many dishes begin with purées. Whether they are for a sauce, soup, soufflé or sorbet recipe, or added as a flavor enhancement to an entrée, delicious purées are often at the heart of any culinary preparation. Like chicken and beef bases, seasonings or herbs, fruit purées are a staple in commercial kitchen operations. In culinary terms, to réduire en purée means to render solid foods into a mash; to press, strain or pulp foods by using a mortar, meat grinder, food mill, an electric blender, or through a sieve. Throughout the history of fine cuisine, gourmet chefs have prepared their own purées by hand. Yet, purées did not become commonplace in professional European kitchens until around the turn of the 20th century, and not in American kitchens until the 1970’s. The extensive use of purées came about thanks to the vision of French-born Chef Auguste Escoffier, known as the “king of chefs and the chef of kings.” Escoffier roamed the continent bringing his culinary innovations to establishments such as the Ritz in Paris and London’s Savoy. Escoffier advocated creativity and artistry in cooking. He encouraged chefs to use recipes merely as the starting point for their efforts. He viewed cooking as a living art that must adapt as it is adopted by different cultures and new generations.In his cookbook, Guide to Modern Cookery, Escoffier wrote, “My intention is to offer my colleagues a tool rather than merely a recipe book. (This way, chefs are) free to develop their own methods and follow their own inspiration. The art of cooking, which in many ways is similar to that of fashion design, will evolve as society evolves. Only basic rules remain unalterable.”
What is The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley?
Since 1988, The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley has indulged the culinary passions of chefs and mixologists with season-less, effortless products. Our flavor line-up boasts 41 premium flavors comprised of purées, concentrates, zests and blends. Our products are frozen, maintaining ultimate freshness, flavor and color.
What makes The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley unique?
The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley has won the confidence and compliments of chefs worldwide. Our flavors are made from the finest raw ingredients from field sites around the globe. Our products provide peace of mind for chefs and beverage professionals – from batch to batch and year to year. Other brands of purée add a fixed amount of sugar to their fruit. Since fruit is picked from different fields and at different times of the year the sugar level in the fruit varies from field to field and harvest to harvest. The Perfect Purée adjusts for natural sugar and acid variations by adding just enough cane sugar and acid to bring the fruit up to a consistent level that is optimum to the palate.
How does a culinary professional use a purée?
Many dishes start with a purée base. Soups, sauces, sorbets, marinades, glazes and drinks often require a fruit or vegetable purée for delicious flavor. Whether a chef is creating a dessert or meat sauce, a hot or cold soup, or looking for a unique flavor for a marinade, vinaigrette, or stuffing, purées are at the heart of many culinary creations. Creating quality purées is not a simple matter. Purées made from scratch can be inconsistent and time consuming. Locating raw ingredients out of season can be difficult, unreliable and therefore price prohibitive. The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley has strict quality control standards that allow chefs the freedom to provide creative cuisine all year long without compromise.
Who uses The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley?
The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley can be found anywhere artisan cocktails or gourmet menus are created. Chefs, cooks, bartenders, kitchen managers, and other culinary inventors appreciate these innovative cooking bases for their versatility and unlimited applications in food service operations.
The White House Inn & Spa/1801 First Inn, Napa, California – Chef Lynn Arthur
“Guests often ask me what that “secret” ingredient is in my dishes so they can try to make it themselves at home. The purées can be used in a variety of egg dishes, potato dishes, sauces, vinaigrettes and marinades. They are efficient and a lovely addition to any gourmet home kitchen.”
Crimson Lounge-Hotel Sax, Chicago, Illinois – Todd Appel, President Piranhna Brothers – Bar Planning and Consulting, Mixologist
“I love your products. They are real. Whenever possible I try to use fresh produce, but often that is not possible because of time or seasonal constraints… I can rely on The Perfect Purée products to be what I want them to be for great drinks or other culinary creations.”
Bon Appetit at The Getty Center and Villa, Los Angeles, California – Executive Pastry Chef Claudia Cevenini
“The quality is outstanding. We use the purées in our sorbets which we produce in fairly large amounts, it obviously saves us time to use the purées rather than mash and strain berries.”
Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona – Executive Pastry Chef, Pierino Jermonti
“We use The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in a variety of applications. The consistency of the product is excellent. The flavors are well balanced with the perfect amount sugar – which is very important to me as a pastry chef. The quality is exceptional – as the fruits are picked at their peak, and then immediately frozen for convenience. I simply use it when I need it. It is also much more cost effective versus making our own. Growing up in Italy, I remember waiting for the season to pick strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries from our back yard. With The Perfect Purée, I can have year-round access to those wonderful flavors.”
The Gourmet Table, Napa, California – Chefs Elsie Tracy and Stacy Mackey
“The Perfect Purée allows us to create frozen treats in an array of colored scoops of ice cream that resemble a painter’s palette. Prickly Pear is one of our favorites. The Perfect Purée allows us to use non-seasonal fruit year round for a variety of dishes from sweet to savory. Wonderful flavors such as their mango and passion fruit have become swirls in our cheesecakes.”
Where is it sold?
What is the shelf life & handling of The Perfect Purée products?
The shelf life of the purées, concentrates & zests is 2 years from date of manufacture if stored frozen. This Best By date is ink-jet coded on the side of the jar. When refrigerated below 40° F, the shelf life is up to 10 days. To use, thaw jars overnight in a refrigerator, below 40° F. Once thawed out, stir before use.
The shelf life of our blends is 2 years from date of manufacture if stored frozen. This Best By date is ink-jet coded on the side of the jar. When refrigerated below 40° F, the shelf life is up to 21 days. To use, thaw jars overnight in a refrigerator, below 40° F. Once thawed out, stir before use.
Where does The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley source their fruit?
We source our fruit from growers and packers all over the world that specialize in custom, high quality processing of produce. Only premium fruit is used in our purées.
How are the products manufactured?
An example of one of our processing techniques: The fruit is picked in the fields at its peak ripeness. Within hours, the fruit is brought to a nearby processor to be graded, sorted, and washed. Then, the fruit is either frozen for future use or puréed immediately. Machines extract seeds and sometimes skin, then strain and purée the fruit pulp. Since fruit sugar solubles naturally vary, the fresh purée is blended with sugar to a consistent Brix level. The purée then undergoes a high temperature-short time (HTST) pasteurization process. The pasteurization process destroys food-borne illness causing organisms and preserves the quality of the purée over the 24-month shelf life. The purée is then cooled, packed, and frozen. All our fruit and vegetable suppliers and plants are audited annually by qualified food auditing companies and operate under strict food safety system.
What is the difference between a purée and a concentrate?
Simply, purée is made from fruit that has been pulped and mashed. Fruit concentrates come from fruit juice that has had the water removed during processing. Concentrates are thinner in consistency than purées and also typically higher in sugars. Depending on the flavor, a concentrate can be 200 – 250% stronger in flavor than its purée equivalent.
What are sugar solubles or a Brix reading?
All fruits and vegetables contain natural sugar levels. These sugars are measured by a device called a refractometer, which measures the sugars in Brix. Today’s industrial processors use Brix readings to measure the sweetness of all fruits and vegetable products. To the processed fruit, we add cane sugar to balance the flavor notes and render the Brix (sugar soluble) level consistent from batch to batch, and jar to jar. Brix information is important to pastry chefs in particular. Some pastry applications such as ice cream and sorbet will not freeze correctly if the sugar level is too high. An inconsistent sugar level can mean the difference between a silky smooth sorbet and a sorbet that is frozen solid.
Are the products Kosher certified?
Our products are Kosher certified. We have OU certification on all flavors except for Ginger. This flavor is CK Kosher certified. OU certification is granted through the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America. CK certification is supervised through a consulting Rabbi. Pareve Kosher foods do not contain meat or dairy. All fruits, grains and vegetables in their natural state have pareve status. Our Kosher products also have pareve status. However, they are not Kosher certified for Passover. Kosher certificates are available to download here.
Are the products Non-GMO?
The following products are Non-GMO Project Verified:
Black Currant Puree
Blood Orange Concentrate
Carmelized Pineapple Concentrate
Chipotle Sour blend
El Corazon blend
Green Apple Puree
Key Lime Concentrate
Meyer Lemon Concentrate
Passion Fruit Concentrate
Pink Guava Puree
Prickly Pear Puree
Red Raspberry Puree
Red Sangria blend
Sweet Ginger Puree
Sweet Hibiscus blend
White Peach Puree
Yuzu Luxe Sour blend
Are Perfect Purée's products all-natural?
We use real fruit and vegetables to make our products. Ingredients derived from natural sources, such as cane sugar, pectin, colors and flavors are used as much as possible.
Why is The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley packaging so appealing to chefs and bartenders?
Our products are packaged in convenient 30 oz. wide-mouth plastic Store n’ Pour jars. A standard bartender pour spout easily attaches to the mouth of the jar for concocting exotic mixed drinks.
What makes the blends unique?
Unlike other products which focus on single flavors, our blends offer quality, high-end bases that consist of both premium blends and classics. We incorporate hot flavors from today’s beverage world, including passion fruit, yuzu and kaffir lime. With our blends you can offer signature cocktails without a mixologist at the helm. The flavor profiles are unparalleled for each and every one of our blends.
How do you obtain the caramel flavor in the Carmelized Pineapple concentrate?
A natural caramel flavor which enhances the natural sweetness of the pineapple juice concentrate is utilized.
What’s the difference between a tangerine and a mandarin?
Mandarins are the largest and most varied group of edible citrus fruits. Tangerines are varieties of mandarin that have more brightly colored flesh and peel. Varieties that are typically marketed as tangerines are Dancy, Sunburst, and Honey.
What is the “yuzu” in Yuzu Luxe Sour?
A yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit that resembles a bumpy tangerine. Commonly used in Japanese and Korean cuisine, it is acidic and tart, with highly fragrant rind and flesh. The taste of yuzu is similar to a lime/lemon combination.
Is there real coconut in Passion Colada?
Yes, there is coconut milk in the passion colada.
Are there trans fats in Passion Colada?
No, there are no trans fats. Although coconuts are rich in saturated fats, they do not contain trans fats. The other ingredients in Passion Colada do not contain trans fats either.
Can puree be used for baby food?
The Perfect Purée uses cane sugar in some of the products and we do not recommend these flavors be used as baby food or in baby food until your child is over the age of 12 months/1 year. Once you have made it past this age threshold, you can use our flavors to enhance items like homemade applesauce with a touch of Blueberry, Pear or Red Raspberry purees. The flavor combinations are endless depending on what flavors and fruits you want to introduce to your little one. As always, parents should consult with their pediatricians in regards to dietary guidelines for children.
How do I thicken sauces/purees?
One way is to reduce over a low heat allowing the puree/sauce to thicken naturally via heat. The other way is by adding sugar to the product in a sweetened application that will thicken as you cook it on the stove top. You can also use small amounts of cornstarch and other thickening agents in order to achieve a thicker sauce/puree. To do this, take about a teaspoon of cornstarch or arrowroot and mix with a tablespoon of water with a whisk and then add to your puree/sauce and cook over low heat in order to cook off any taste of the starch or arrowroot.
Do you have to use a stabilizer when making sorbets and ice creams or can you make it without?
Stabilizers are not necessary for making ice creams or sorbets.
What are the benefits to using a stabilizer when making sorbets and ice creams?
Stabilizers help in the production of ice creams and sorbets as they help prevent crystallization of the sugars and also raise the melting point allowing the ice cream or sorbet to hold its shape longer.
Can you make jam/jelly/fruit butter thick without using the fruit skins or pectin?
Yes. Fruits like blueberries, apples, quince, and apricots are naturally high in pectin and can produce thick jams, jellies, or fruit butters with no use of pectin.
How does a puree change the texture of my baked goods?
It depends on the formula. Sometimes one may have to consider the added sugar content of the puree or even the amount of acidity one might get from using a puree. But as a general rule, most purees could be interchanged as a portion or percentage of the liquid in a recipe.
Can The Perfect Purée flavors be reduced to use with chocolate?
Due to the high-quality product that is The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley, we do not suggest reducing or “boiling down”. For Raspberry Puree, use it as a 1 to 1 replacement for the heavy cream. For Banana Puree, because of the viscosity, we recommend using a portion of heavy cream and the puree. Play around with ratios that give you the desired flavor and consistency of your truffles. Using the addition of a compound is also another option to help fortify your flavor profile. We have also found that using white chocolate for the Banana Puree has the best results for carrying the banana flavor.
How can Perfect Purée flavors be used in the brewing process?
How can The Perfect Purée flavors be used in kombucha?
For a 16 oz. bottle with 12-14 oz. of fermented kombucha, we would recommend using 1-2 tbsp. Concentrate or 2-4 tbsp. Purée to start with. One should adjust to their own preferences. The sourness of the Kombucha is something to consider. If your fermentation is shorter, then this recommendation should be a good start. If you tend to ferment for a long period to get an extra sour flavor, we recommend using more Perfect Purée to balance the flavor. After adding the Purée or Concentrate, the flavored kombucha can be served as is or further fermented for a few days.