We’re jammin’ - what’s the best strawberry jam in East Anglia?
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Our tasting panel put 12 East Anglian strawberry jams to the test - but which came out on top?
Summer isn't summer without big fat scones smothered in buttercup coloured clotted cream with a scoop of ruby strawberry jam falling down the sides.
East Anglia has dozens of producers swirling up the seasonal fruit into glass jars of gorgeousness, but some really do sparkle more than others.
We tasted 12 of the region's strawberry jams to see which ones should earn a place on your breakfast table. Judging on colour, consistency and flavour, these are the eight best preserves you can get your mitts on in our opinion.
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Peachey's Preserves Strawberry and Vanilla jam
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This country-style jar of jam blew everyone on our tasting panel away. You can see before you open it it's going to be amazing. The colour is pure strawberry red, with whole slices of the berry all the way through. It had a soft, dolloping consistency and the hint of vanilla was there, but didn't take away from the taste of the fruit, which was clear and present. We loved it. The Norfolk-made jam is available to our Suffolk readers at Marlows garden centre in Bury St Edmunds.
Best for: Everything, but it was amazing with scones.
The Naughty Sheep Strawberry Jam
Our panel really liked the cute packaging design. Inside the jar, the jam's texture was quite firmly set – more like a jelly. But the jam itself wasn't too sweet and had a burst of citrus brightness that prevented it being too sucrose-laden.
Best for: Spreading over hot toast
Fruits of Suffolk Strawberry Jam
A runnier jam with a really bright, inviting colour. The strawberry flavour was excellent (not too sweet) and the jam was easy to spread. Our panel said this one was the most like homemade.
Best for: Sandwiching your Victoria sponge with.
Tiptree Little Scarlet Preserve
Some found this just a teensy bit too sweet but the majority of tasters couldn't get enough of this beautiful pot of jam, with its proliferation of tiny Little Scarlet strawberries. It has a delightfully soft texture, given a bit of bite from the berries, and is very well balance.
Best for: Special occasions. Lazy romantic brunches. Meringues. Tartlets. Finishing off cupcakes.
The Garden Pantry Strawberry Daiquiri Jam
This is another jam that was quite jelly-like. It wasn't overly sweet and initially had an orangey flavour that through our panel off. As it developed in the mouth though, the jam revealed its flavour to be the sum of all its parts – you really could taste the strawberries, rum and lime.
Best for: Jam tarts and cakes.
Essence Foods Strawberry and Lavender Conserve
This brand makes a number of wonderful preserves in all kinds of flavours – including all different types of strawberry jam. We plumped for this one, made with Norfolk lavender. Some tested initially found the taste of lavender a bit much, but kept going back for more! The jam has a soft set consistency and an off-tart strawberry brightness with a gentle hum from the flower, which is judged just right – not soapy at all.
Best for: Very special cream teas
Thursday Cottage Strawberry Jam
Not quite as stand out as the brand's fabulous curds, but good nonetheless. It was a little sweeter than we would have liked it to be, but had a lovely homemade texture and mouthfeel.
Best for: Toast and crumpets