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It was not enough to have a state jelly. A slug-fest erupted in the Legislature that resulted in not just one, but two state jellies. Louisiana designated mahaw jelly and Louisiana sugar cane jelly as official state jellies in 2003. It is comforting to know the Legislature was able to work this out.
The official jellies for the State of Louisiana are mayhaw jelly and sugar cane jelly.
The Mayhaw is a variety of Southern hawthorn that yields yellow to bright-red fruits with a taste similar to a tart crab apple. This unique jelly is made from Mayhaw juice. The plant is one of the last wild U.S. fruit trees that has not yet been commercialized. The mayhaw, (Crataegus opaca,) is a native fruit of Louisiana. It is estimated that there are more than 200 varieties of mayhaw, many native to Louisiana. Others are of Chinese ancestry, where the mayhaw has been cultivated for over a 1,000 years, often for medicinal purposes, according to the USDA
May is a good time to enjoy mayhaw jelly, Louisiana's state jelly. It begins ripening in late April and finishes about the first week in June. Fruit color is usually bright red, although it can deviate toward pink or yellow.
Cooking and Preparation: Approximately 2 hours
Yield: 2 - 1/2 pint jars
5 cups juice
7 1/2 cups sugar
1.35 oz. pectin
Heat juice and add pectin.
Bring to a boil and add sugar.
Bring to boil again and boil for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and spoon off foam.
Place in jars.
If you are starting from the Mayhaw fruit, do the following:
Remove the stems and blossom ends from mayhaws; place in large saucepan.
Add water. Bring to boil.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 min., stirring occasionally.
Crush cooked mayhaws.
Place three layers of damp cheesecloth in large bowl.
Pour prepared fruit into cheesecloth.
Tie cheesecloth closed; hang and let drip into bowl until dripping stops. Press gently.
Measure exactly 4 cups prepared juice into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. (Add up to 1/2 cup water for exact measure, if necessary.)
Sugar cane came
to Louisiana as early as 1733 when the Jesuit priests brought cane stalks from Santo Domingo. It was used primarily as chewable stalks and as a confection
similar to molasses. Sixty-one years later (1794), a fellow by the name of Etienne de Bore opened the first successful sugar mill on the site where
Audubon Park is located today. It was at that time the method of creating granulated sugar was put into production and started the industrial sugar
Two hundred years later, Roland F. LeBlanc, Jr. of Abbeville, Louisiana conceived the idea of turning the juice of sugar cane into jelly. Driven by, ingenuity and the grace of God, along with the legacy of past generations (Roland's grandfather was Senator Dudley J. LeBlanc, Sr., otherwise know as "Coozin Dud: the inventor and promoter of Hadacol, the cure-all elixir). Roland F. LeBlanc, Jr. set out to develop a new product. After three years of experiments research, and travel, he with a handful of shareholders under the corporate name "The LeBlanc Jelly Co." successfully opened the first Cane Jelly™ manufacturing facility.
BY REPRESENTATIVES HILL, FRITH, BOWLER, FAUCHEUX, AND
WALSWORTH AND SENATOR HINES
To enact R.S. 49:170.8, relative to state symbols; to provide that mayhaw jelly
and cane jelly are the official state jellies of Louisiana; and to provide
for related matters.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana:
Section 1. R.S. 49:170.8 is hereby enacted to read as follows:
§170.8. State jellies
A. There shall be two official state jellies. One official state
jelly shall be the mayhaw jelly. Its use on official documents of the
state and with the insignia of the state is hereby authorized.
B. The second official state jelly shall be Louisiana sugar cane
jelly. Its use on official documents of the state and with the insignia of
the state is hereby authorized.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA
The law designating mayhaw jelly and Louisiana sugar cane jelly as the official Louisiana state jellies is found in the Louisiana Statutes, Title 49, Section RS 49:170.8
TITLE 49 - State administration
RS 49:170.8 - State jellies
Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 49:170.8
§170.8. State jellies
A. There shall be two official state jellies. One official state jelly shall be the mayhaw jelly. Its use on official documents of the state and with the insignia of the state is hereby authorized.
B. The second official state jelly shall be Louisiana sugar cane jelly. Its use on official documents of the state and with the insignia of the state is hereby authorized.
Acts 2003, No. 76, §1.