Sunday 20 January 2019

Pricepoints: Berry best of tea-time essentials

Each week we compare your favourite brands. Today we look at raspberry jam

Raspberry jam is an essential ingredient in every store cupboard, for spreading on hot scones and fresh bread and for making everything from Swiss rolls to Bakewell tarts.

I limited the test to 10, included some of the best-known brands as well as supermarket versions. I decided to choose the middle price range.

Some were labelled as 'conserves'. In theory, a conserve is cooked for a shorter period and should preserve more of the fruit flavour but with commercial jam there seems to be little difference.

All of the jams used glucose-fructose syrup (instead of sugar), except the top three. Glucose-fructose is very highly processed and is usually derived from corn and, call me old-fashioned, but I don't like highly processed ingredients like this.

Follain Raspberry Jam, 50pc fruit, 370g, €2.39

Made in Macroom in Co Cork with just fruit, sugar and pectin added. Good, intense raspberry flavour, not too sweet. Ripe, fresh fruit flavours. Excellent. 8.5/10

Jan's Raspberry Jam, 50pc fruit, 370g, €2.69

Irish-made in Dun Laoghaire. No unusual ingredients, just sugar, raspberries and lemon juice. Good, pure raspberry flavour and with nice, zingy, lingering fruit taste. Very good. 8/10

Baxter's Raspberry Conserve, 55pc fruit, 340g, €2.88

Scottish jam with the highest fruit content of all the samples. Very good raspberry flavour, not too sweet, but lacking a little of the zing of the Irish quality jams. 7/10

Lidl Maribel Raspberry Conserve Jam, 50pc fruit, 450g, €0.98

Sweet fruit, good raspberry flavours, pleasant taste. Good value. 6.5/10

Aldi Grandessa Raspberry Conserve, 50pc fruit, 454g, €0.99

Good, sweet fruit taste followed by tangy raspberry. Not too sweet. Good value. 6.5/10

Superquinn Essentials, 45pc fruit, 450g, €0.79

One of the least sweet of the cheaper jams with a pleasant tangy flavour. However, it was a little lacking in raspberry taste. Good price. 5.5/10

Tesco Raspberry Jam, 45pc fruit, 450g, €1.35

Quite jelly-like in texture, strong flavour of sweet raspberries. A little sweeter than the best examples but not bad. 5/10

Dunnes Stores Jam, 35pc fruit, 454g, €0.99

Pleasant tangy flavour, not too sweet, but lacking a raspberry kick. 5/10

Supervalu, 35pc fruit, 454g, €1.27

Sweet, general jam flavour, less raspberry kick than I would like, but not terrible. 4.5/10

Chivers Jam, 35pc fruit, 454g, €2.29

Very expensive given the low fruit content. Far too jelly-like in consistency and not enough raspberry flavour. 4/10

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