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Jam

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

On your morning toast, a scone at high tea, or paired with peanut butter, jam is a sweet tooth sensation. Since making your own jam isnít often an option, we learn some tips on how to pick a good jam at the supermarket.

   BUYING TIPS

The Basics

  • Not all fruity toppings in a jar are actually jam:

    • Jam has a relatively smooth consistent texture.

    • A preserve is lumpier with visible pieces of fruit.

    • A spread made from pureed fruit, is not as solid as jam, and may or may not have any sugar in it.

    • Marmalade is made from citrus fruit and always has pieces of citrus peel.

    • Jelly is made from fruit juice, not the fruit itself.

  • The best jams are often from Britain, France, Italy and Switzerland.

  • Most jams are more than 50% sugar and 50-70 calories per teaspoon.

  • Some jams use white grape juice as a lower calorie sweetener. But while it may have fewer calories, the grape juice competes with the flavour of the fruit.

   TEST CRITERIA

We tested these four raspberry jams with some discerning, die-hard homemade jam connoisseurs:

  • President’s Choice: $0.92 /100 ml
  • Smucker’s: $1.60/100 ml
  • Bonne Maman: $1.84/100 ml
  • Wilkin & Sons: $2.72/100 ml

Taste Test

  • The British Wilkin & Sons was unremarkable.

  • Smucker’s had lots of raspberry flavour and 50% less sugar than its regular jam. It was also surprisingly tasty.

  • Bonne Maman was too sweet and didn't have enough fruit taste.

  • President’s Choice containing over 50% fruit and had a great raspberry taste.

   OUR TOP PICK

President’s Choice brand is our raspberry jam top pick, with over 50% fruit and a flavourful raspberry taste.

   Thanks to Our Experts

Linda Meinhardt, Gourmet Grocer

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