Food Vegetarian friendly

Review: Bonne Maman blackberry jelly

Doesn't Bonne Maman blackberry jelly look homemade? Well, if it's homemade, they must have a home the size of a city block. I keep seeing this jelly in Edmonton.

If there’s one small quibble I have with blackberries, it’s the seeds. There are lots and lots and lots of seeds. They’re tough, crunchy little beasts, liable to get lodged between teeth until being painstakingly plucked away with a toothpick.

Blackberry jam, while delicious, sometimes suffers from the too-many-seeds problem. That’s why blackberry jelly is such a godsend.

My father, a blackberry connoisseur if ever there was one, introduced me to Bonne Maman blackberry jelly, a Made in France concoction that’s packaged with a label that looks downright homemade. He was so convinced I’d like it that he bought me a jar.

(Aside: “Bonne Maman” is French for “good mother,” so that family-made appearance is clearly not accidental.)

First impression? It’s very runny and slippery for a jelly. You almost need to use a spoon to scoop it from the jar, then finish the spreading job with a knife.

Taste-wise, it’s everything I expected. It’s brimming with full-on, no-holds-barred blackberry flavour, but it’s also sweeeeeeet. Blackberries that are less than perfectly ripe are notoriously sour, so over-sweetness usually isn’t a problem with blackberry jams and jellies. This one, however, is almost candy-sweet. If you’re spreading it on a sweet scone, the combined sweetness might be a bit much. Use it sparingly.

Why does it taste so good? Simple ingredients. There are only five listed: Blackberry juice, sugar, brown sugar, concentrated lemon juice, fruit pectin. That’s all there is, and that’s all you’ll taste. Magnifique!

Bonne Maman blackberry jelly, spread on a fresh scone. It's very runny for a jelly, so this heavy application resulted in much dripping. Don't eat it over anything that will stain.

RATINGS AND DETAILS

Cost: $4.99 at Planet Organic.

Value for cash money: Not bad.

Availability: Reasonably easy to find in Edmonton. I think I’ve even seen it at Save-On.

Nutrition?: Per tablespoon (15 mL): 52 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates. That seems to be about it.

The verdict: I wish it was less runny than it is, and maybe a bit less sweet, but otherwise, very nice. It tastes like ripe blackberries, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

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