Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.-based Greaves Jams & Marmalades has introduced its first line of no-sugar products. The 100% Fruit Spreads feature all-natural ingredients, with only one third the calories and one third the carbohydrates than Greaves’ regular jams. Available in 250-mL jars, the new line is sweetened with apple juice concentrate, and each flavour delivers an intense fruit taste. The line is available in six varieties: Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry, Field Berries, Blueberry and Sour Cherry.
Sour Cherry, Peach. “The Sour Cherry spread was much sweeter than I thought it would be, but that’s a good thing. Sometimes sugar-free products are just too bland tasting for me. I also do like the smooth spread as opposed to jams that sometimes have large chunks of fruit. The Peach variety was also very tasty, but with a more subtle flavour. Both were very fresh and high-quality tasting. I like the design of the label too – simple and attractive without over clutter.”
Sour Cherry. “I don’t like the jar – it’s old ladyish-looking. I wouldn’t pick this out on the grocery shelf. It also doesn’t speak to being sugar-free or healthier than other jams. I found the Sour Cherry flavour sort of bland for my tastes. I wouldn’t grab this to put on my toast again.”
Blueberry. “It’s good. Not too sweet, a bit acidic compared to what I would normally buy. I do like the fact that it uses natural ingredients and that you can see and taste lots of fruit. It’s not as thick as I would like though, and a bit drippy. The label is very old-fashioned looking, but it does give it a home-style image.”
Peach, Strawberry. “Greaves is a well-known and respected brand in my household, and I was looking forward to tasting this product…I was sorely disappointed. Fruit Spreads can have less fruit than a jam. And, while this fruit spread did not include any sugar, it did utilize apple juice concentrate and lemon juice as ingredients…not sure if it reacted with the peach, but it sure tasted tart. In fact, it tasted less like peach and more like apricot, which would have been fine if that’s what I wanted. Would I buy this Fruit Spread again? No. Maybe it’s just me, but like the peach fruit spread from Greaves, the strawberry tasted tart. It tasted less like a strawberry jam than anything I’ve ever tasted, and since I hated to waste it, I fed the remainder of my sandwich to the dog. He liked it, but I did not. There were no strawberry lumps, and very little strawberry flavour…it tasted more like apples than strawberry…maybe Greaves needs to get their mix correct. Would I buy it? No. And it’s made me think that I will never buy a Fruit Spread product again.”
Blueberry. “I loved this jam! The chunks of blueberries, the flavour, the colour of the jam spread on toast – perfect! The taste is not too sweet, and not too mild, which some blueberry jams can be. I’d like to see more colour on the jar though.”
Field Berries. “The Field Berries fruit spread smells like it’s full of fruit. It smells like it might have a tanginess to the flavour, which is very appetizing. When I tried it there was a bit of tang to it, so I wasn’t disappointed. It doesn’t taste too sweet, which is great. I prefer it when jams are more tart than sweet. I also had my son try this and he said he liked it (he’s three). He’s very particular when it comes to food, so if he likes it that’s a good sign. I really liked that the manufacturer has left the little pits in (from the raspberries?). It gives the fruit spread more texture. And it also makes you think they really did use a lot of REAL fruit. I’d buy this.”
Raspberry, Sour Cherry. “The new greaves raspberry jam tastes like a homemade preserve right out of a grandmother’s recipe collection. The tartness of the raspberries really comes through, giving it a fresh taste, rather than the sugary sweet attributes many other consumer jams have. Greave’s sour cherry jam (fruit spread) has a consistency and tang similar to rhubarb spread. Not only is it fantastic on toast and with peanut butter, but I also think it would be delicious on top of a nice French Brie served as an appetizer.”