Crofter’s Superfruit Spread Gives a Tangy Twist to Jam
When Crofter’s sent Blue Planet Green Living free samples of their new jam, I wondered how different could this product really be? Jam is jam, right? But after one bite into a piece of toast topped with the gooey spread, I knew I was in for a treat.
Manufactured in Canada, Crofter’s Organic Superfruit Spreads are a USDA-certified organic product. The four varieties are named by the continents on which the fruits grow: North America, Europe, Asia, and South America. The spreads are produced by combining morello cherries and red grape with superfruits — fruits with exceptional nutrition and antioxidants — unique to a specific continent.
The outcome of this innovative idea? A jam packed with bold, exotic flavors with nutritious benefits for every consumer.
Jam vs. Jelly
I invited a small group of friends to taste-test the spreads. During the tasting, I noticed we were using the words “jam” and “jelly” interchangeably. But these are, in fact, different products. When I googled the differences between the two, all sites relayed the same information: Both products are made with crushed fruit, sugar, and the gelling agent pectin. When the fruit juice is strained, it creates a smooth textured jelly. Jam, on the other hand, is not strained and contains chunks of fruit. The terms jam and preserve may be use interchangeably, however. Preserves indicates a fruit is canned for later use, and because jam contains fruit pieces, the words can be used with the same meaning. With chunks of fruit dispersed in the gooey texture, there is no doubt Crofter’s Superfruit Spread is a jam, not a jelly.
The Taste Test
My two roommates, my boyfriend, and I decided to try the jam on what we most frequently eat jam on: toast. I cut a few pieces of plain, whole-wheat toast and a thicker, honey-crushed wheat toast, into four squares and spread one of the jams on each square. After a few samples, we found the jam’s strong flavors didn’t mix well with the honey bread, and determined the jam was best on the plain, whole-wheat toast.
The first jam we tried was Asia. The combination of the raspberries and yumberries immediately got our attention. Raspberries give the spread a sweet flavor commonly found in jam, while the yumberries — a sweet-sour berry found in China — give the jam a distinct sour twist. The unusual ingredient received mixed opinions. My boyfriend thought this flavor stood out from the other three jams and found it was his favorite. Eventually, he even made a peanut butter and jam sandwich with the Asia jam and found the extra flavor gave a whole new taste to a classic sandwich.
On the other hand, my roommates were not so enthused with this flavor. They enjoyed the taste, but were content with just one square. They felt an entire piece of toast with this tangy flavor would be too much for them.
The North American spread added a completely new taste into the mix. This jam has a subtly sweet blueberry taste, accented with a distinctive cranberry zest. Because this jam combines familiar fruits, I thought this jam would be an overall crowd-pleaser. But to my surprise, it was everyone’s least favorite. We all enjoyed the taste of the jam, but preferred the other, more exotic flavors. Perhaps this is because North America is made of flavors we know so well, and we found the other jams more surprising and fun.
The final jam, South America, is a mixture of maqui, one of most nutritious berries in the world, and passion fruit. The combination of these two exotic flavors creates a bold, yet sweet, flavor that is unique from the rest. We unanimously liked this jam, and we kept coming back for more. As my favorite flavor, I could easily see some of this jam on a piece of toast for the perfect complement to my morning coffee.
When I compared the nutrition labels of Smucker’s Strawberry Jam, Welch’s Grape Jelly, and the Crofter’s Superfruit Spread, it was obvious Crofter’s doesn’t only rival regular jam with their unique and bold flavors — it also offers a healthier option for a morning treat.
At one tablespoon per serving, Smucker’s Strawberry Jam has 50 calories, 13 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of sugar. This is similar to Welch’s Grape Jelly, except that Welch’s jelly has 15 milligrams of sodium and an additional gram of sugar. Neither the Smucker’s jam nor Welch’s jelly are organic.
All flavors of Crofter’s Superfruit Spread are noticeably lower in those categories. At one tablespoon per serving, Crofter’s Spread has 30 calories, no sodium, 8 grams of carbs, 7 grams of sugar, and an additional 50 percent of the recommended adult daily intake of Vitamin C. In addition, Crofter’s uses all organic superfruit, organic fair trade cane sugar, and natural fruit pectin.
Although the product samples were free, this is an unpaid, unbiased review. If my friends and I had disliked the jams, I would not have reviewed them. Our verdict? With its extra nutritional value, all organic ingredients, and taste-bud twisting flavors, Crofter’s Superfruit Spread is a unique jam that’s definitely worth a try.