HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >


Bonne Maman: the epitome of commercial jams?

Is there anything better out there? I'm thinking "typical" berry flavours, but other interesting noteworthy suggestions are certainly welcome!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. before the Chowhound team moves this away from the Montreal board, have you tried any of the local artisan goods at places like Marche des Saveurs at the JTM?

    1. There is an Italian brand, fairly readily available, called Menz & Gasser, Prima Frutta. It's slightly better than Bonne Maman, IMHO.
      If you go to the G Van Houtte on Laurier (or whaterver they officially call it now) they have a really nice selection of jams, in all price ranges.
      My personal favourite (although disgustingly pricey) is Christine Ferber - it can be found at Fromagerie Atwater, and a few other places around town, but it's around $16/jar...

      1 Reply
      1. re: cherylmtl

        I've just tried the Menz & Gasser Brand and it is truly delicious! I found some at my local Adonis super market and it was really inexpensive compared to Bonne Maman.

      2. Probably your best selection is at Bucharest, on Decarie, FWIW.

        1. Thanks for the suggestions! Whenever I make the trek to JTM (or Atwater) I always pick up some artisan jam. Found some good stuff at Les Douceurs last time. I've tried M&G and did really enjoy it, but haven't been able to find it or anything better than BM at my local supermarkets (PA, IGA, Provigo) in the Atwater area for when I'm too lazy to walk down the hill and need something sweet to smear on top of my Kate's Vermont buttered English muffin:)

          2 Replies
          1. re: mtb

            PA on Fort had M&G this past week, as well as a few other brands. I think they regularly stock it. Bonne Maman was on sale there for $2.99, I believe...

            1. re: cherylmtl

              Really?! Wonder why I've been missing it... Thanks for the good news!

          2. You could also try the St-Dalfour jams (probably not as good as artisanal, but very good commercial stuff, and no sugar added). I'm also crazy about Fortnum & Mason's violet jelly - they have a website specifically for delivery in the U.S. and Canada.

            2 Replies
            1. re: amelie1980

              Chocolats Marius et Fannie have some pretty delicious jams also.

              1. re: maisonbistro

                In terms of commercial products, IGA carries the Swiss brand Hero, which is usually in the organic section for some reason.

                Atlantique carries a wide range of European brands, including several types of Hero preserves that you can't find in IGA.

                There's an elderberry jam available at the JTM - Marche de saveurs that I really love but can't recall the maker.

            2. I really like Wilkin and Sons jams, but they are not in every grocery store.

              4 Replies
              1. re: SnackHappy

                I like Wilkin and sons jams too but have noticed that at 5 seasons they have been out of date and dusty, so check the expiry dates! Bonne maman has never been really special to me but my daughter likes their fig jam which is harder to find except i have noticed they carry it at Van Houtte on Laurier among other good brands. If i recall correctly premiere moisson has their own jams and they have several locations but i have not tried their jams as too many other temptations to purchase!

                1. re: wilmagrace

                  Van Houtte on Laurier? Are we talking about Gourmet Laurier? Or is this another place? Is this the place near Lemeac and Chez Levesque? They certainly have an excellent selection of jams and jellies.

                  1. re: moh

                    Yes, it was originally the flagship store for coffee roaster A.-L. Van Houtte. When that branch of the family (brother Christophe and maybe another was/were also in the coffee business) shifted focus to become today's coffee shop/resto franchisor, they sold the store, which then changed its name to Gourmet Laurier.

                2. re: SnackHappy

                  On the same subject, has anyone ever seen Frank Cooper Oxford Marmalade here?

                3. Chez L'Epicier makes a very nice line of jams in berry flavours with an interesting twist (ie- strawberry with basil and lemongrass, blueberry with port and ginger, raspberry with chocolate). Pain Dore usually carries them.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cherylmtl

                    That strawberry with basil and lemongrass sounds very interesting, I'll have to seek that out. Thanks!

                    1. re: cherylmtl

                      i meant pain dore when i said premiere moisson and i also meant Gourmet Laurier, which of course changed its name from van houtte some time ago, apologize for wrong names, not very helpful!

                    2. Before I found myself a jam-making girlfriend, the commercial jam I liked most was the Double fruit. I know, I know - mass-market, industrial product, blah blah blah. But yet it tasted fresher, more fruity, and less pectin-laden than any of the many other grocery store brands I have tried, including Dalfour, and Bonne Maman (which is probably even more mass-market, since you can find it in practically all supermarkets in the world).

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: johnnyboy

                        I also like the double-fruit, and agree with you on it being more fruity. The PC Organics blueberry is also in that vein. There's just something about that quaint lid on the Bonne Maman jars that draws me in and caters to the illusion of it non being mass-market. And no worries wilmagrace, I figured out what you meant :)

                        1. re: johnnyboy

                          The thing about Double-Fruit is that it's not jam. It's fruit preserves or fruit spread. It doesn't have enough sugar content to be called a jam. Comparing it to jam isn't really fair. They're two different types of product.

                          1. re: SnackHappy

                            It's fruity stuff I put on my toast in the morning. Whether it can be called jam, or fruit preserves or slartibartfast is not particularly relevant to me - what is pertinent is how good it tastes.