December 29, 2012

My Jam Envy

I admire people who make their own jams and jellies. Everything about the process has charm, like a slightly faded floral quilt and French country-side. Take my friend Eve, those photos of strawberries and neat little jars invoke long summers of childhood. I have not ventured into jam-making so I rely on stores like Mom's to supply me with nearly-as-good as homemade jams and jellies.

So if you don't can, here is your essential jam round-up. First the lingo. Jam, jelly, preserve, spread, marmalade. Jelly is only juice. Spread is a rather new term for jam with too little sugar content. Marmalade is citrus.

First Crofter's. I love the bear on the jar. And the continent-themed fruit spread. Europe here has currants, pomegranate, cherries, and grapes. North America is chock full of blueberries, cranberries, and cherries. South America and Asia are a bit more exotic. It's organic too!

ModernKlatch Jam Envy Crofters
Got some in the fridge and it is going fast!

These jellies and preserves are made by the monks of St. Joseph Abbey in Spencer Mass. Trappist Monks, people! We discovered Trappist jellies on a trip to the Cape.

Trappist Monks Jelly Modern Klatch
We had orange-cranberry (super!) and hot pepper (meh). If you know of a store that sells Trappist outside of Mass, I am on the lookout for quince.

Bonne Maman is my third pick, as much for the jar as it is for the preserves. Bonne Maman is made in France with a label that looks handwritten, as if it was actually made in someone's kitchen. No wildly exotic flavors here, just good old-fashioned strawberry, cherry, apricot. Perfect for a hot scone and a cup of Earl Gray.
Bonne Maman Modern Klatch
What other almost-homemade no-Smuckers-in-sight jams should be added to this list?

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