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After seeing this in B & M for 99p I couldn't not buy it. It's my favourite jam by a long shot and I'm not a jam fan at all - don't like the over sweetened, almost chemically taste that comes with most supermarket brand jams at the same price.
Also, I think the jars (13oz, if you're interested) themselves are especially pretty - and match the quaint interior of my kitchen - with their gingham style tops, white labels and fancy scroll writing to the shape of the jar. All of these factors make the jam leap out at you from the shelf. Plus the quality of the product can't be faulted.
With 5 simple ingredients of raspberries, sugar, sugar cane, concentrated lemon juice and pectin (a fruit gelling agent) and none of which contain gluten, wheat or dairy this jam is a good choice for those with food sensitivities. The jam is rich in flavour but isn't overly sugared. It is also very fruity, lovely on toast and would be perfect with scones fresh from the oven.
Bonne Maman originates from France and unlike other companies that seem to make everything in Holland, it has stayed in France where it is manufactured and packed - or at least from my digging around, this is what I have found.
Prices vary from £1.98 in Tesco to 99p in B&M stores (where I bought it.) In comparison to other jams I have found this one to be the 'Mama' of the jams. In other words, it's the best. I can't compare anything else to it - not even Hartley's. And the real test is how long it lasts in the house; a few days, at best. When we buy any other jam it normally expires before it's been used up, not the case with this jam. Of course, to keep it best, it's always advisable to store it in the fridge upon opening.
So I give this wonderful jam a full 5 stars on flavour, texture and taste - but also on quality.
For me one of the best things about Sunday morning is reading the paper with a pot of hot black coffee with toast made from home made bread with a fairly thick layer of good jam or marmalade on top. Whilst my gran was still alive she made all the family's jam herself so we never had to buy it. You name the jam and she would make it, I still haven't found a marmalade or strawberry jam as good as hers but as I don't have the time to make any or the large copper jam pan I now buy it.
Most jam on the market is either over sweet or so thin it runs off your toast or even worse tastes like it has been made in the chemistry lab of the local secondary school. Well for me this particular brand is one of the better ones. I wouldn't say raspberry jam is my favourite and I tend to buy it only to make jam doughnut muffins with but as my other half in his infinite wisdom dropped the jar of strawberry jam on the kitchen floor, leaving muggings to clean it up, I gave it a go.
The Jam its self
The jam or conserve (never really worked out the difference) is quite well set and it doesn't run all over the place. It is a good dark colour which is just what a raspberry jam should be. On opening the jar the smell is a strong smell of the fruit with no chemical edge to it. The smell is a good mix of the sweet/acid notes of the raspberries used. The fact you can see the seeds in the jam do show that there is a good quantity of the fruit in the finished product. The label states that there are 50g of raspberries per 100g of finished jam which is quite good. Although the sugar levels are very high at 60g per 100g some of this will be the natural fruit sugars.
The jam spreads well and is of a good consistency but perhaps there could have been a few more whole pieces of fruit in it. The taste is a good clean raspberry flavour without all that chemical rubbish you tend to taste in cheaper jams. The jam is not overly sweet in taste as the natural acidity of the fruit does balance the sweetness out very well. The quite strong taste does mean you don't need quite as much of it to get a good taste of the fruit. This goes very well with the toast on the Sunday morning or on scones at tea time.
The jam has no artificial preservatives, sweeteners or colours in it. Despite the fact the jar states that it should be kept in the fridge when opened I find that this is not needed. Jam has so much sugar in it that it will take a long time to go off. The reason jam sometimes goes mouldy quickly is because of the crumbs of toast etc that get in it by using the same knife to scoop jam from the pot as you do to spread it on the toast. Take the jam out of the pot with a clean spoon then spread it with the knife should avoid this and so the jam lasts longer.
The size of the pot is a fairly large 370g and priced at around £2.49 although not exactly cheap it is worth it for such a good quality product. Whilst the jar is quite basic and there are no fancy labels it is easy to find in most supermarkets.
Complaints about the product
My first complaint is that the seeds do tend to get stuck in your teeth. This does cause me some irritation and I know it would drive some people nuts. Second there is no nutritional information on the label. Whilst this is not required by any law, UK or EU I do feel there is little excuse for not having it.