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Artisan Jams & Jellies

Freshly-made. Locally-sourced. No artificial ingredients. Delicious. These are some of the reasons why customers prefer to buy artisan jams and jellies over commercial brands.

Artisan Jam and Jelly Trivia

  • Victoria Sponge Cake is named after Queen Victoria. This sponge cake has cream filling as well as jam filling.
  • Leah Shutkever of Birmingham, UK, holds the Guinness World Record for eating the most number of jam doughnuts in three minutes (10 jam doughnuts).
  • Andre Ortolf of Germany holds the Guinness World Record for most jelly eaten blindfolded in one minute (1,445 g or 50.97 oz), eating without the use of both hands.
  • Erica Strauss, in the book The Hands-On Home: A Seasonal Guide to Cooking, Preserving & Natural Homekeeping, made a good point about artisan jam and quality. “Sure, I can get a blackberry jam at the store on sale. Unless I go for the very high-end artisan jam, it’ll be mostly high fructose corn syrup and added pectin and not much fruit, but it’ll be cheap…Ingredient cost will probably be less than the crappy jam at the store, and the quality will be better than the best stuff available for sale.”

Artisan Jam and Jelly Buying Guide

Tips on buying artisan jams and jellies are similar to what you need to know when buying any canned or bottled product. Always inspect the item. Look for a “best before” date and make sure the product isn’t expired yet. Check the safety seal and make sure this is intact. Check the lid and the bottle or jar for any sign of damage or tampering.

If you are buying a new brand you haven’t tasted before, buy a small jar or bottle first. Buy just enough to last you until the next grocery day. The risk is having to wait if the product is sold out, since artisan jams and jellies are usually made in small batches, and sometimes using seasonal fruits.

If you are trying a new brand of artisan jam or jelly, take into consideration that this may taste different compared to what you’ve had in the past. Caroline Chambers, in the book Just Married: A Cookbook for Newlyweds, wrote: “Jam sweetness varies per brand, and even per batch, if you’re buying an artisan jam that relies on fresh local fruit.”

A tricky part in buying artisan jams and jellies, just like any artisan products, is knowing if something is really artisan or not. Sometimes, makers of jams and jellies add “artisan” to the product to attract more customers, to appear more appealing, or even to justify the product’s price tag.

Identifying which bottle or jar of jam or jelly on the shelf is artisan and which one is not is challenging and time-consuming as well. What we can do as consumers is to be diligent in doing our research. There is information available on the internet that can help us identify which ones are artisan and which ones are not. Look them up online. Read about how they make their products. Read people’s comments and reviews. Read about the company’s background. Ask around. If you like artisan jams and jellies, you’ll find like-minded individuals on farmers markets or even online. There maybe some of them who have more information regarding genuine artisan jams and jellies sold in your area.

Artisan Jam and Jelly Production & Farming in Texas

Makers of artisan jams and jellies are found all over Texas, like Sweet Heat Jams in Leander, Austin Jam Company (and its artisan pepper jam), We Be JAM’N in Amarillo, In A Jam in Stafford, Confituras in Austin, and New Canaan Jams & Jellies from Dripping Springs.

Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals

Artisan jams and jellies are made with little to no additives. That is what sets artisan jams and jellies apart from factory-made jams and jellies.

If an artisan jam or jelly has artificial ingredient or additive, it could be any or all of the following:

  • Food sweetener
  • Food coloring
  • Food preservative

Geography

Artisan jams and jellies are made not just in the US. There are artisan jams and jellies all over the world, from Europe to Africa to Asia. Artisan jams and jellies made in different parts of the world are made using local fruits, ingredients, and flavors.

Packaging

Artisan jams and jellies are sold in glass bottles.

An important part of the packaging of artisan jams and jellies is canning. It is important for artisans to observe proper and safe canning of their artisan jams and jellies to make sure the product is safe to eat. Improper or unsafe canning practices will compromise the quality and safety of artisan jams and jellies.

It is always important to inspect the packaging. Make sure there is nothing you can see that suggests that the product’s safety has been compromised evidenced by damages or issues with packaging – a broken safety seal, a missing tag, a label with parts of it missing, ripped away, or tampered; lid with a dent, scratch, rust, hole; cracks or chips on the glass bottle or jar, and many others. If you see artisan jams and jellies with this kind of packaging, do not buy it. More importantly, call the attention of the store owner or attendant and let them know that one of the products they sell have packaging issue.

Artisan jams and jellies are usually made in small batches. Makers of artisan jams and jellies put jars in a carton box for bulk orders or those to be sent to stores and stalls that sell this product.

Enjoying Artisan Jams and Jellies

Artisan jams and jellies are more delicious than those made in factories. These contains more fruits, less sugar, and no artificial ingredients, which makes artisan jams and jellies a great choice for spreads, in terms of taste and nutrition. Jams and jellies are not just for breads – you can also use it as topping for yogurt, pancakes, and waffles.

While there are benefits to eating artisan jams and jellies, there are also other considerations to make. If you are advised by your doctor to avoid or minimize sweet foods, make sure to eat just enough artisan jams and jellies and avoid overindulging because artisan jams and jellies contain sugar.

Storage

Artisan jams and jellies may not have the same quality of commercial brands when it comes to the ability to stay in good condition even if not refrigerated, so it is advisable to refrigerate artisan jams and jellies. Unless, of course, the label informs the consumer that the product can be stored in the shelf, cabinet, or left on the counter or on the table after it has already been opened.

Cooking

Some people think artisan jams and jellies are just for spreading your sandwich. Can you cook with it? Sure. You can use artisan jams and jellies to make cookies, cupcakes, lemon bars, muffins, and hand pies. If you can use these to make sweet and sour meatballs or to make the sweet and savory sauce for caramelized onion chicken. Artisan jelly can be used to make Catalina Chicken. Or use it when you make your marinade for chicken wings. Artisan pepper jelly can be used to make Goat Cheese Grilled Cheese. Use artisan jelly when making sliders. Use artisan jellies to make vinaigrette for your green salad.

Nutritional Benefits
The nutritional benefits from artisan jams and jellies depends on what kind of fruit was used. It is common to find artisan jams and jellies made from locally-sourced, pesticide-free fruits with no additives or artificial ingredients, making artisan jams and jellies very nutritious.

Artisan jams and jellies are a great choice for spreads over other options that could elevate your cholesterol levels, like butter or margarine. Pectin, which is found in artisan jams and jellies, develop into something that could help prevent cancer, not to mention other benefits from pectin, like helping improve hair and skin, help keep the bones healthy, and prevent constipation. A diet that includes artisan jams and jellies – a great source of energy and fiber – is good for the heart.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: Varies
  • Carbs: Varies
  • Sugar: Varies
  • Fiber: Varies
  • Protein: Varies
  • Fat: Varies
  • Saturated Fat: Varies

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