Nobody can deny that the best strawberry jam is homemade, either hot processed or freezer jam. But trying to find decent strawberries in the dead of winter is difficult to say the least, and expensive.
I managed to find a commercial brand that tastes about as close to homemade as you can get. Cascadian Farms Strawberry Fruit Spread is not only organic but local (well, Oregon at least). It's pricey, but it sure beats the corn syrupy taste of Smuckers Strawberry Jam.
Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon Smuckers Organic Strawberry Jam the other day at the grocery store. Looking at the label seemed promising -- the high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup and sugar from the regular brand was replaced by organic sugar in the organic version. In fact, the ingredient list was almost identical to Cascadian Farms, except it wasn't nearly as expensive.
Today, when I finished the jar of Cascadian Farms and opened the Smuckers Organic I was a little excited to compare the two. Unfortunately, the consistency of the Smuckers Organic wasn't very appealing. The taste was better than the regular, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as the Cascadian Farms. The texture left much to be desired and, in spite of the lower cost, I'll be sticking with Cascadian Farms.
So, here are the results, in order, of today's Strawberry Jam Smackdown:
1. Homemade jam
2. Cascadian Farms Strawberry Fruit Spread
3. Smuckers Organic Strawberry Jam
4. Smuckers Strawberry Jam