The recipes for these jams were invented by nuns at a time when gelling agents, preservatives, artificial flavours and colourings were unthinkable. Until today the jams contain no colourings, no preservatives and no flavour enhancers. Only fruits and sugar/honey are used.
Rita Horgan discovered these recipes in old family documents and, together with her husband Frederico, began to build up a small artisanal manufactory for sweet jams on their Quinta dos Pocinhos in addition to honey production: the Beirabaga jams of the Horgan family.
The Quinta is close to Penamacor, a small village with about 1500 inhabitants in the Castelo Branco district. To the east, the district borders directly on Spain. For the jams, regional fruits are selected that grow in the Cova da Beira, in the centre of Portugal, and in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal. These regions have unique soil and climate conditions, which ensure the excellent taste of these jams. The fruits ripened on the tree are processed in the old way with pure granulated sugar. The jams are hand-stirred in small batches.
Over the past two decades, Beirabaga has already won many medals and awards in various national competitions for the jams made from traditional Portuguese fruit.