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A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

Scunthorpe, United...
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A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

I posted a review on the Dark Tickle Co after we visited last year, in which I said “We bought small pots of each of the different berry jams to try. We found several to be too sweet for our taste (sugar content is higher than berry content) and were very disappointed by the Bakeapple which tasted of sugar rather than fruit.”

Dark Tickle responded “If I may respond to your assessment of the sweetness of the jam. In order for something to be called a jam it is legally required to have a 66% soluble solids level (sugar)….. If something is called a jam, sugar has to be the first item in the ingredient list. If it is not, then it isn't really a jam…”

Now I have a question for Newfoundlanders (or any Canadians who read this)....

I have been making jam for nearly 50 years and have always used equal amounts of fruit and sugar (apart from blackcurrant where the ration is 2 of fruit to 3 of sugar). So I was somewhat bemused by Dark Tickle’s comment that “In order for something to be called a jam it is legally required to have a 66% soluble solids level (sugar).”

I know it is an EU requirement for jam to contain a minimum of 35% fruit. Checking the jams on supermarket shelves in UK most have about 45 % fruit. A few (extra jams ) have as much as 55% fruit. A few very cheap jams have as little as 35% fruit.

I was wondering if this regulation just applies to Canada? My mother was a Canadian and checking through her old recipe books from the 1940s and 50s most recipes have equal parts of fruit and sugar although a few do have considerably more sugar. I was under the impression that the extra sugar helped ‘bulk up’ the jam and made it keep longer.

Maybe modern Canadian tastes are different. I just wondered what the general opinion is about this.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

I think they are referring to the federal "Food and Drug Act", which legally defines what "jam" is in Canada:

…justice.gc.ca/eng/…h-89

Scunthorpe, United...
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2. Re: A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

Thank you for the link - I hadn't found it on Google. I was heartened to see that this also confirms that Jam

(b) shall contain not less than

(i) 45 per cent of the named fruit, and

(ii) 66 per cent water soluble solids as estimated by the refractometer;

So Dark Tickle are wrong when they say that Jam should be 66% sugar and I am justified in my opinion that their 'jam' is too sweet.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

I was quite tickled to read this thread name, EESW. Sorry, couldn't resist.

My only comment would be that I understand jam to be more than 50% sugar (sugar being the first item in the list of ingredients) and compote to be more than 50% fruit (fruit being the first item in the list of ingredients). Big difference. Here, they are placed next to each other on the store shelves, and spread on toast the same. This is aside from the understood stewed fruit kind of compote.

Edited: 21 October 2011, 23:26
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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4. Re: A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

I guess it's a matter of taste...I love their products.

Griquet
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5. Re: A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

Hi from Dark Tickle!

Sorry I just found this thread so I'd just like to try to explain what the following means in cause there is confusion:

"(ii) 66 per cent water soluble solids as estimated by the refractometer;"

This means the Brix level of the jam or the percentage of sugar by weight. Essentially, when you measure the sugar level once the jam is cooked, the combined value of the berries natural sugar and what you add must equal 66%. With the exception of some natural pectin used in crowberry and wild blueberry (to help the jam "set" due to their low acid level), our jams contain only berries and sugar. Our recipes are tailored so just enough sugar is added to the meet this requirement. In other words, with the berries we use, we have the highest fruit level possible while still allowing us to meet this regulation. If we didn't comply with the regulation, we simply couldn't call it, "jam." We do not wish to concentrate the berries and we refuse to use preservatives. I hope this helps and have a great winter!.....maybe with some of our jam..;-)

All the best,

Dark Tickle

6. Re: A question about Dark Tickle Jam....

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