Frequently Asked Questions
Family. When our grandparents first came to this country, they loved New York City for its vibrancy and city life, but when it came to a place to vacation, they discovered Maine. It reminded them of the lakes and terrain of their native Austria and Germany. So, we have been coming here for generations and finally some of us settled here. It's a beautiful place. That being said, we do manage to get out of here in the winter for a bit. In winter, it's lovely, but it gets cold and the snow is deep. There is a lot to do here; hike, bike, mountain climb, ski, swim, and just be. That is probably the best part-just being. It is a tranquil, healing place that in many parts has been left in the past, giving it the semblance of a slower time. Neighbors are neighborly. Food really is local. And people still seem to care.
Why Wild Maine Blueberries?
It is the most abundant fruit in Maine. The flavor is like no other blueberry. These are the little ones-smoky blue, sweet-tart, with a taught skin. They almost pop when you bite them. They make the perfect jam-not too sweet and very fruit forward in taste. Grown on what are called barrens, they grow wild, are never watered, and have no need of being fertilized. They truly are free range. When we say blueberry farms, it is just that someone owns the land. Think of the farmer as the one who may have his name on a piece of paper, but it is the berries who really own the land.
What's the story with the jam?
The long story is in the About Us, the short one is that it is a way to preserve the blueberries and enjoy them year round. Oma took us berry picking. We made jam. We ate jam. Yum.
JAM? FRUIT SPREADS?
It has gotten very confusing. We did not make the decision to call it anything but jam or preserves. The USDA came out with new food labeling laws and we had to succumb. In every other corner of the world it is all jam in the native language. Other than marmalade, it is pretty much one in the same. In the US-jam is only very sugary stuff. Fruit spread is anything that is low or reduced sugar-same fruit and sweetener, even if the sweetener is sugar or fruit juice-it is now called a fruit spread. Preserves-whole pieces of fruit. We can still call it jam on our website-just not the jars. Oh well. It still tastes really good.
What about the ingredients used in the jams?
All natural, GMO-free, vegan, free of gluten. We only buy from places where we can trace where the food/ingredients came from. Please note that we are not GLUTEN FREE-we use ingredients that do not contain gluten, but we work in a shared kitchen where people bake and use flour. It is all clean and scrubbed down, but there can be traces and therefore we do not claim to be GLUTEN FREE.
What is the difference between pure cane sugar, cane sugar, and sugar?
Pure cane sugar and cane sugar are one in the same. The sugar is from sugar cane. Sugar is from beets. On the glycemic index there is no difference. In the use there is no difference. It is the taste. Pure cane/cane sugar has a cleaner taste in our estimation and does not detract from the fruit.
Is pectin safe?
Yes. Pectin makes jam into jam. Without pectin, either from the fruit or added, the product is better known as sauce. The pectin that is used in Bleuberet products is fruit based, not from corn (which incidentally is considered in some cases to be a fruit). But we use one that has no corn.
What is the difference between the Bleuberet Blog and the Journal?
The blog is recipes, foodie info, reviews of things we liked and want to share with you, articles from us and other bloggers. The Journal is about life in Maine and our travels. It might have some food related info from time-to-time, but it is really meant to be snippets of everyday life about the Bleuberet Family, where we go, what we do and to pass along things that help you to understand about Maine and the things that influence our jams.