“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Jam „
Tesco have developed a knack for cost cutting. One of the product lines to emerge from them over the past year is the Oak Lane brand, and while the standard is as hit and miss as their own Value branding, some of the products are real bargain finds.
This Oak Lane jam is, on first appearance, a good value buy. A deep, rich red jam that costs 85p or so for 454g, a big jar. The branding gives you a pleasant enough look, and although there is nothing that attracts specifically to this one as opposed to others in terms of presentation, the price is the main draw.
In terms of taste and consistency, the jam initially holds up as a jelly-like jam, with a bit of substance to it. The smell is pleasantly sweet, and not overbearing, and the first couple of times you use it, it tastes lovely and spreads nicely.
It is only after a few uses that things start to slide. The jam loses its consistency, the sweetness starts to increase, and the experience lessens in terms of quality. The jam gets a bit runny, spreading is harder and you don't feel like you're getting real jam on your bread or toast or whatever you may use it for. However, despite it getting runnier, the sweetness intensifies, and starts to get almost a bit too sickly, and this makes eating it not such an attractive option after a short while.
The taste, despite the sweetness, is still quite nice, and there is definitely a fruity aftertaste mixed in with the overbearing sugary nature. It's certainly not a jam I would eat on a regular basis, but it is okay to have every now and then. If you were going to have a pot of jam for something, then this is probably not going to be the best option, but for the occasional slice of toast on your way out of the door in need of a sugar rush to wake you up (for example!!), then this kind of does the job.
Overall, it's an average jam. There are a lot of brands that are over sweet, and a lot that don't maintain their consistency, and ultimately, the taste is as important as anything, for me. If you're not too fussed about the oversweetness of this one, then it's worth giving it a go. The price is decent for the amount you get, and it's readily available in Tesco.
I absolutely love jam and marmalade on toast and have it every day cos I'm a real fan lol. Of late I've found strawberry jam (no matter what the brand) to not be much good. They seem very runny to me at the moment and with no said strawberries in them either! I can't not have jam as it kicks starts my brain of a morning so the other week I got this one whilst browsing in Tesco to try out.
454g glass jar with a black screw on/off lid at the top of it which has a gold circle on there and once opened (or tampered with) that area pops up a little and on that the best before date is stamped on clearly in black ink. Around the front of the jar there is a strawberry covered label to the front and on that I'm told it's Oak Lane Strawberry Conserve. On one side of the label there is a bar-code on there and on the other side of the jar ingredients and allergy advice is given and I'm told it's suitable for Vegetarians. The size is stated (as I've listed already and it's the only size available on the shelves to purchase), storage instructions are given, nutritional information is there and finally contact details for Tesco are listed. It's an ok jar. nothing special but it doesn't look cheap and does provide all the information you may need.
A nice, dark rich red colour (you can see through most of the jar) with integrated strawberry dark brown berry pips scattered throughout which are obviously from strawberries. Opening the jar it smells delicately sweet and as you would expect a strawberry jam to smell to be honest with a nice fresh smell of the strawberries.
Consistency wise.... yep it's typically set the first time you see it and use it but then it caves in and loses it's set feel and is actual rather runny and blobby in the jar. The seeds are quite crunchy and the more you eat of the jam the more you realise how sweet it is (too sweet in my view) and you really do notice there are no whole or strawberry pieces in this product (no matter how hard you look lol) and that this is just a rather sticky and rather sweet jam.
It does spread ok but really it is sweet in a natural sugary way but for me it's simply too much and if I do use it less really is more. Quality wise it's ok and it looks ok but the lack of strawberries and such a forceful sugar hit is far too much for my palette I'm afraid!
Sugar, Strawberries, Gelling Agent (Pectin), Citric Acid, Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate).
Recipe: No nuts.
Ingredients: Cannot guarantee nut free.
Factory: No nuts.
Nutritional Information Per 100g....
of which is sugars: 64.9g
of which is saturates: 0.0g
Salt Equivalent: Trace
Only available in Tesco stores priced at 85p a jar.
Most of our major supermarket chains are struggling to meet the needs of their customers, constant price wars and an amazing amount of advertising campaigns seem to be in force. Every newspaper that you pick up has a page that is dedicated to supermarket price comparison. Even the Internet has sites that customers can visit to compare prices.
Sometimes all of this discounting can be slightly misleading, if you tend to do your shopping in the one supermarket then what you gain on the swings you may well lose on the roundabouts and the average person who leads a busy life trying to juggle both work and family hasn't got the time to run around them all in the hopes of reducing their food bill by a couple of pounds a week.
When I first saw the aisle that was dedicated to the Tesco discount brands, Oak Lane being one of them, I was a bit put off to say the least. The goods were poorly displayed and tickets were spattered here there and everywhere announcing the arrival of this new range. Whoever was responsible for the marketing of the range needed a boot up the backside to be frank! There were laundry products placed next door to consumables, it looked chaotic and risky.
As the weeks passed the layout of the aisle seemed to improve and at least it merited a look at.
The Tesco Value strawberry jam is 38p a jar but the quality is reflected in the price. Jam just has to taste of fruit, if it lacks that then you are in reality eating spoonfuls of sugar.
The Oak Lane strawberry conserve , one of the Tesco discount range was 85p for a 454g jar, a middle of the road price to pay. I wanted it to make some jam tarts so I felt it was worth a try.
A normal screw top jar which is vacuum sealed and that vacuum is broken when the jar is initially opened. The label is pretty predictable, a paper label that has heaps of ripe strawberries pictured on it. The label also states clearly that the brand is a discount brand.
Of course you can pay a vast amount for a good pot of conserve but if you just want to make a few tarts to fill the cake tin then you don't want to make the process dramatically expensive.
The Oak Lane jam has a decent colour, it is a deeper red and doesn't look as if the colour has been too artificially enhanced.
For every 100g of jam the manufacturers have used 50g of fruit, so the jam doesn't lack fruit.
Though the strawberries for the most part aren't whole they are well presented and they have been well prepared, it seems that any visible blemishes have been removed.
Of course the fruit has to be cooked reasonably well and the pieces of strawberry are cooked through and some are very soft indeed.
The jam itself is not cloudy and the gel doesn't look artificial, the spoon slips easily through the fruity jelly.
Although the strawberry taste is definitely held within the fruit it seems to have missed the jelly part of the jam by a mile. Take a taste of the jelly on it's own and the only flavour that is there to my mind is the sugar. Yet put a chunk of fruit onto the spoon along with the jelly and then you are able to at least taste the fruit.
Oak Lane have made a good attempt, the strawberry jam lacks lustre though. The fruit on its own is very pleasant but the fruity taste doesn't seem to extend to the jelly part of the jam.
Like so many things in life we get what we pay for, I paid middle of the road and that is exactly what I have got.
The jam cooked well and the tarts were pleasant, if you want to drive a Ferrari then you just don't purchase a Regal Reliant do you?
A teaspoon full has 39 calories and unsurprisingly the jam is packed with sugar, in fact 66g out of every 100g is sugar.
I have always stored my jam in the fridge, the cool atmosphere seems to keep the jam tasting fresher for longer.