“ Manufacturer: Bonne Maman / Type: Jam „
There were a few kids in my class at primary school who could have been described in similar terms to this jam, in that they were thick, full of lumps and could be found hanging about in shops. But in this case it's a complement - Bonne Maman make delicious jam and I've yet to have one that's been disappointing. Their Black Cherry Conserve is a lovely, dark jam packed with flavour.
I don't buy much jam for two reasons. First is that I use the stuff quite sparingly, but also that I like to go foraging for berries and things I can find in the woods and stew it up to make my own preserves. Despite my attempts to live the good life, empty jars are an essential part of jam-making, so it's necessary to buy them every now and again. In fact, the shape of the jar is one of the features that makes Bonne Maman jam stand out from the crowd. It's cast in a nonagonal form (I just counted the sides, how sad is that?) with no awkward bulges in the glass. This means that using the whole contents of the jar is easy, with no nooks for the jam to settle in, and cleaning them out to be re-used is a breeze. They also stack on top of each other nicely, with a quaint gingham-style lid to finish it off. As a further bonus, they also make nice little cocktail/beer glasses - they're a bit like those nice chunky Hoegaarden glasses.
The black cherry jam itself is really nice. The colour is deep and murky, which is what I'd expect from fruit associated with the Black Forest. It's thick and rich, so you don't need too much for a slice of toast or on your yoghurt or porridge or peas or whatever it is you want to put it on. Hidden in there are big juicy lumps of fruit, which make for a happy find when they turn up. It also retains the slight tartness of the cherries and doesn't drown it in sugar, which is good and all helps to keep it flavoursome.
Bonne Maman jam can be expensive from the supermarket, but it sometimes turns up in those bargain shops every now and again for next to nothing. Home Bargains had this on offer for just over a pound (I think, it was a while ago), and sometimes have others on so it's worth checking out every now and again.