Jim Leff loves VA-VA brand hot "home made" ajvar (roasted red pepper spread). It's "an entire new class, an entire new universe of ajvar," he says. "It's really spicy. It's really thick and lumpy and homemade-seeming. Lots of garlic. Bits of eggplant. God. Get this!"
After tasting nearly all the VA-VA products, Jim Leff's favorites are the fergesa ("which looks like vodka sauce and tastes even better, and would be great on pasta, though that's totally not what it's for") and the lutenica ("real mild and soft and very very deep"). "Their stuff's primo, generally," he says. "The wild figs were super perfumey, but the fig jam was nice."