The Blue Chair Fruit Company is now a household name, thanks to the gorgeous cookbook written by the company’s founder, Rachel Saunders. Blue Chair jams are now available all over the country, which is very lucky for those of us who do not live in California! I profiled Rachel a couple of weeks ago after I had the pleasure of visiting the Blue Chair kitchens where I saw the magic happen. Rachel sent me home with several bottles of jam to taste and review.
The first thing you notice about the jams is how lovingly they are presented. The bottles are beautiful – just the right proportions, with a pretty label that appears to have been slapped on by hand. Everything about the packaging makes you feel like the jam is made by hand, with a great attention to detail. I tried two of their more interesting and original jams, Peacotum and Quince Orange Marmalade.
Smell: The jam doesn’t have a strong smell. There is the faint smell of peach that lingers in the background.
Sight: It has a rich, syrupy appearance, almost like caramel that is still warm. It is gorgeous to look at. Taken out of the bottle, the texture is unique. It is neither fluid nor solid. Just thick and fruity.
Taste: The jam has the flavor of caramel as well, like burnt sugar. The flavors of the peach, the apricot and the plum are well blended and have been cooked so thoroughly that the chunks of fruit have dissolved well. The flavor is mild and delicate. It is difficult to differentiate the different flavors, however, if we were to pick the dominant flavor it would be plum. From our taste, the technical virtuosity of the jam-maker is obvious. This jam is well-made, resulting in a subtle but delicious flavor.
Smell: We loved the smell of this marmalade. It gave off the perfume-like smell of apple and pear mingling. There were also notes of the orange. The combination of is irresistible.
Sight: This jam has a very soft, solid texture. You can see chunks of quince and orange in the bottle. It has a deep golden-coral color. We thought it had a shiny gem-like color.
Taste: Quince is an unfamiliar fruit to many people. It is reminiscent of apple, but it has its own distinct flavor. This jam really highlights the quince. While the jam is very solid, it melts in your mouth. Once again, the texture is evidence of the technically complex and slow process of cooking down the fruit. The natural pectins in the fruit give the fruit a lovely texture.
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