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Great Nosh, Little Dosh - Raspberry jam taste test

Raspberry jam taste test

A friend rang to say she was coming by on Sunday morning for a long overdue catch up. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to complete the raspberry jam taste-testing project. The scones were warm from the oven, and the cream was whipped when our friends arrived and five jams were ready and waiting in ramekins.

Our friends were dead keen to join the tasting panel as official testers. As I’d spooned the jam out into ramekins, two things were immediately noticeable. Firstly, it seems seeds in jam are either a thing of beauty and are to be seen, or are to be hidden at all costs. Secondly, only one of the jams was runny, while the others sat firmly in place, like a jelly with a little too much gelatine. Colour variation between them was minimal as all were basically the same appealing deep shade of ruby.

Our tasting selection was Anatoth, Barkers, Bonne Maman, Craigs and Pam’s, whereas the Roses jar I’d bought was later found in the fridge hidden behind a large jar of olives.

I’ve always had a bit of a preference for Anatoth products, pronounced arn–a-tot. To avoid any pre-concieved ideas on what certain brands might taste like, we undertook a blind tasting and so, with scone in hand, a spoonful of jam, and a dob of cream, the deliberations started.

Things, however quickly got very confusing, “What is raspberry jam supposed to taste like?” Each one of us wondered, “Is this one nicer than that one? “My grandma made the best raspberry jam,” declared my friend. We discussed the taste, the texture, the sweetness and the acceptability or otherwise of pips, and after another round of sampling, we wrote down our scores.

Between the four of us there was no single winner, but there was a least preferred. Barkers and Pams were the most preferred both for taste and visual appeal. Anatoth and Bonne Maman were middle of the pack for taste and Craigs was in last place. For visual appeal, Bonne Maman was still middle of the pack but the results for the group saw Craigs and Anatoth at the tail. Many years of making jam that doesn’t fully set was behind my personal preference for Anatoth’s runniness. We didn’t have any home-made jam to include in the testing.

My calculations suggest a bag of frozen raspberries and 750g of sugar is going to make 2 jars of jam, so that’s about $5.75 a jar, excluding the cost of power and your time. It’s scary to think there’s a quarter of a bag of sugar lurking in your jar of raspberry jam!

Does the fine print on the label point us to a winner? The jars ranged between 350-500g with a jar of Pams jam providing you with 1/3 more than a jar of Barkers. Craigs is 42% fruit, Barkers 48% and the others are 50%. Sugar, pectin, lemon juice and citric acid are the common ingredients, while Pam’s also seems to have calcium carbonate in it, unsure why. Barkers is a lower sugar recipe and comes in at 957kJ/ 100g, whereas the others are 1100 – 1150 kJ.

The winner of the Great Nosh / Less Dosh challenge is the Pam’s raspberry jam, cheapest, largest jar and rated pretty highly on taste and visual appeal by the panel.

But wait, there’s more!

The best tasting scone. Come to afternoon tea with Pauline and bring your favourite scones and the recipe, and be part of a taste testing panel. First prize: A $20 prezzy card.

The INFORMER PREMISES 14 MONK Street. 2.00pm Thursday, 10 November.

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