French Preserves, Spreads, & Jam – The Taste of Nature

It is a long-standing French custom to eat jam and preserves in the morning on good warm bread.   But let us not stop there!  Not only are these confitures consumed with bread and baguettes, but they are also play a major role in French cuisine itself.  Les Confitures or French jams are used several recipes, to drizzling on iced cream and over baked camembert & brie cheeses.

Terminology Differences:  A Quick Refresher

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne, 4 Mixed Red Fruits Spread

There are 4 terms – jelly, jam, preserves, and spreads – that we use often interchangeably here in the US.  There are however slight differences amongst the four.  Jelly is made with strained fruit juice. There are no pieces of fruit in jelly.  Jam is made with strained fruit juice. Preserves have whole fruit or large pieces of fruit. Some fruits such as blackberries or raspberries will not stay whole during the processing so there may not be much difference between raspberry jam and raspberry preserve. Fruit spreads are only fruit: These are 100% fruit with no sugar added.

Cooking in Copper Cauldrons – A Heritage of French Tradition

Making Les Confitures à l’Ancienne Jams in the Traditional Copper Caudron

Quality brands of French preserves and jams such as Les Confitures à l’Ancienne are renowned for their freshness and taste.  To attain this freshness and taste, they are all prepared in copper basins – the traditional way – which maintains the purity of the fresh fruits and smoothness of jam texture that make them world famous.

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne Classic Packaging Jars with Bonnet Hats

Why Traditional Copper Cauldrons

The copper basin for cooking jam is very much part of the French imagination. In fact, every fruit season, copper basins, ladles and utensils are found on the shelves of French local shops.  Do you know why?  Copper is known to be an excellent conductor of heat as it distributes heat evenly.  Great heat conduction equals shorter cooking time — that means you spend less time boiling away the flavor, color, and texture of your fruit.

Simmering in the traditional copper molecules cauldron gives the preserves a richness in taste.  Science has also shown that, when jam is cooked in a copper pan, the pectin in the fruit is released, while capturing the fruit and the water to form a natural binder.

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne - Why so Good?

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne, Pêche Vanillée (Peach with Vanilla Preserves)

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne is one of the top preferred French jams, not only in France but all over the world. Their method of slow cooking the fruits and sugars etc. in a copper cauldron enhances its taste, making these jams irresistible.  That process, coupled with meticulous fruit-picking processes in which fruits are picked at their peak of their ripeness, ensuring maximum taste and flavor, contributes to their quality.

Once picked, the selected fruit is steam-cooked in small quantities, in pans containing a maximum of 80 to 120 kg. This keeps the fruit from being crushed or broken. A person traditionally known as a “cooker” is assigned to managing and supervising each pan of fruit jam production. Based on the recipe book, the cooker selects the fruit and the correct proportion of cane sugar.

“French Cooker”, Les Confitures à l’Ancienne

Adding the sugar to the fresh fruit, Les Confitures à l’Ancienne 

The actual cooking of the fruit is a delicate, precise process, timed to the nearest minute. Too long and the mixture caramelizes, and the fruit is damaged; not long enough, and the mixture doesn’t set and the end result is not jam.

The final jams and preserves produced are completely natural without any preservatives, flavorings, or artificial coloring agents, ensuring only wholesome goodness in every spoon. They have a smooth texture, rich taste, and balanced mixture of fruit pulp and cane sugar.

French Preserves:  Always a Great Gift Idea

Don’t forget these jams are not just for you to enjoy but make an ideal addition to a gift basket, especially when combined with cheese and / and or wine. There is a wide range of flavor options to choose from that make these French jams delicious not only for a traditional toast and jam breakfast but use in a myriad of recipes.  Au Bon Goût Boutique always keeps one of the largest inventories of these French confiture and jam selections throughout the year making them your go-to source for French jams and preserves.