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Bonne Maman: the epitome of commercial jams?

mtb May 26, 2009 07:09 AM

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

  1. j
    johnnyboy May 27, 2009 04:43 PM

    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
      mtb May 27, 2009 04:48 PM

      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
        SnackHappy May 27, 2009 05:17 PM

        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
          johnnyboy May 27, 2009 05:30 PM

          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.

      2. cherylmtl May 26, 2009 10:30 PM

        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
          mtb May 27, 2009 06:29 AM

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

          1. re: cherylmtl
            wilmagrace May 27, 2009 03:45 PM

            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. SnackHappy May 26, 2009 04:52 PM

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

            4 Replies
            1. re: SnackHappy
              wilmagrace May 26, 2009 09:56 PM

              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
                moh May 27, 2009 06:31 AM

                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
                  carswell May 27, 2009 07:03 AM

                  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
                bomobob May 27, 2009 03:47 PM

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

              3. amelie1980 May 26, 2009 08:47 AM

                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
                  maisonbistro May 26, 2009 09:03 AM

                  Chocolats Marius et Fannie have some pretty delicious jams also.

                  1. re: maisonbistro
                    FoodNovice May 26, 2009 04:37 PM

                    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. mtb May 26, 2009 08:29 AM

                  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
                    cherylmtl May 26, 2009 08:39 AM

                    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
                      mtb May 26, 2009 10:18 AM

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

                  2. bomobob May 26, 2009 08:18 AM

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

                    1. cherylmtl May 26, 2009 08:15 AM

                      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
                        mtlmaven May 30, 2009 09:06 PM

                        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. e
                        eat2much May 26, 2009 07:34 AM

                        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?

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