It’s a little late for February’s Jelly of the Month, but we did try out a new locally produced jam and we’d like to tell you about it.
We love the combination of strawberry and basil (it makes for a terrific salad with some balsamic), so we were pretty psyched when we saw this jam on the shelf. We immediately knew we had to bring it on board for Jelly of the Month Club, and test it with our time-honored approach:
1) Spread the jelly on an English muffin and eat it.
2) Spread the jelly on a Ritz cracker with peanut butter and eat it.
3) Spread the jelly on a knife and let our dog Lucy eat it.
I’ll start with the positive: the strawberry component had a nice fresh flavor to it, and the texture of the jam had very good density with no running. But, I have to conclude, our poor luck with fruity spreads thus far in 2015 continues. The basil, which was the element that had intrigued us about the jam in the first place, was completely lost in the mix. Without any detectable basil flavor, this was just a plain strawberry jam…nothing really distinctive or unique about it. Had this just been labeled “Strawberry” rather than “Strawberry Basil,” we might not have been disappointed — but as it was, the jelly was a letdown.
Let’s break the stats down on this February entry.
color: 4 – A very pleasing, rich color.
flavor: 2 – the mystery of the missing basil was a big bummer, though the strawberries themselves were tasty.
jelly-ness: 4 – it was very thick, almost Jello-like.
jar presentation: 4 – the design is simple and cute; it has a nice “homemade” feel.
awesomeness: 2 – again, that missing basil really took this down a few pegs in our estimation.
Now, although this jam was disappointing for us, the flavor of the strawberry (if evaluated in isolation) was pretty good. So, while we can’t recommend this particular jam, it may be worth looking into the straight fruit offerings by Ruk’s. They do know fruit and they do know consistency; if you see something in their store that catches your eye, they’re still worth a shot.