have been growing strawberries in Mevagissey since the 1940's; building up a considerable trade supplying a wide range of customers. As well as the fresh fruit, we make quality preserves in small batches, by hand, on our family farm at Mevagissey. We use a traditional open pan cooking method and a farmhouse recipe, using no artificial preservatives, colourings, flavourings or setting agents.
Responding to customers’ demands for us to increase our catalogue to include more than just Strawberry Conserve, in 2008 we began making Raspberry, Blackberry and Orange Marmalade. Following the example of the strawberry conserve, these are also high fruit content and made without the use of artificial preservatives, gelling agents or sweeteners.
In 2009 we were asked by one of our tea room customers if we would make an apple chutney for them. This proved to be hugely successful, and so the addition of apple chutney in a 227g retail jar, and 3.5kg catering pail were borne.
Since then we have been involved in various projects for bespoke work; making Kea Plum Jam for Tregothnan using their own Kea Plums as an example, and providing own labelled items for various customers.
We now offer a range of conserves in jar sizes from 28g individual portions to 3.5kg catering pails – all of which can be bought online by clicking here
At Boddington’s Berries we source everything within the UK, from packaging to ingredients wherever possible. This ensures that we do our bit and support Britain.
SOME FACTS ABOUT CONSERVES
Strawberries are difficult to freeze, because they have high water content, and their cells are broken down if they are frozen. This causes them to collapse and lose their flavour, when defrosted, so the best way to keep them for enjoyment all year round is to preserve them.
'Preserve' is the term given to protecting food from decomposition, for long periods of time, By preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables, we are able to enjoy them at other times of the year.
Preserves are created when the right amount of acid, sugar and pectin are combined. All fruits contain some sugar and pectin, but strawberries, while high in sugar, have a low pectin content. To obtain a set conserve, other fruits must be added. We choose to use natural lemon juice, as this adjusts the acidity, allowing the conserve to set without tainting the flavour of the strawberries. We do not use artificial pectin or citric acid as we believe this adds an 'apple' flavour to the conserve.
Conserves are made by the gentle, slow cooking of whole fruit with sugar, which retains the whole fruit in a soft set.
Jam is a mixture of chopped or crushed fruit pieces and sugar, and has a firm set.
Preserves around the world
Middle East Strawberry Jam - from A Book of Middle Eastern Food (1968) by Claudia Roden
• Hull 900g strawberries, preferably wild ones.
• Layer strawberries and 900g sugar in a large glass or earthenware bowl, or in a deep china dish.
• Leave them to macerate for 12 hours, or overnight.
• Transfer the strawberries and their juice to a large pan and add a little lemon juice, if you like.
• Bring to the boil very slowly, stirring gently with a wooden spoon or shaking the pan lightly, and skimming off the white froth as it rises to the surface.
• Simmer for 10 -15 minutes, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. (Wild strawberries will require only 5 minutes sometimes even less.)
• When the strawberries are soft, lift them out gently with a flat, perforated spoon and pack them into cleaned, heated glass jars.
• Let the syrup simmer for a little while longer until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon or, when it sets when tested on a cold plate.
• Pour over the strawberries and, when cool, close the jars tightly.
Mrs Roden suggests that jams such as this one are best eaten on their own, accompanied by a black coffee or a glass of cold water! Why not try it?
Wild Strawberry Jam from Siberia
• Gather 900g wild strawberries on a dry day.
• Roll the berries in a cloth, put them on a plate and sprinkle with a little sugar. Leave them to rest for a few hours.
• Cook 900g sugar with 600ml water, until thick.
• Add the berries.
• When they come to the boil, remove from the heat.
• When boiling stops, put them back on again until boiling restarts.
• Do this three times.
• Then cook the mixture over a very low heat until it is a heavy syrup.
• Pour into pots and cover when cool.
• The jam will be thick and very rich.
Try a spoonful over some cream cheese or in natural yoghurt
History of Conserves
While the precise origin of preserved fruit remains a matter of historical debate, it is known that jams, jellies, conserves and preserves are centuries old and have long been recognized, worldwide, for their fragrance and rich fruit taste.
The making of jam and jelly probably began centuries ago in the Middle East, where cane sugar grew naturally. It is believed that returning Crusaders first introduced jam and jelly to Europe. The word 'jelly' comes from the French word 'gelée' which means to congeal. The use of cane sugar to make jam and jelly can be traced back to the 16th century when the Spanish came to the West Indies where fruit preservation was already well established.
"'So enormous is the demand for strawberry jam that some of the great London houses convert from 50-100 tons of fresh strawberries into jam per day.'" David T. Fish, 'The Raspberry and Strawberry', 1882
Jam and Jelly Arrive in the US
By the late 17th century, books on jam making were being published in the United States. Early New England settlers preserved fruits with honey, molasses, or maple sugar. These jellies were thickened using pectin extracted from apple parings.
In 1917, a grape jam patent was issued to Paul Welch for the puréeing of grapes. He called the product 'Grapelade' and his entire production was purchased by the US Army and shipped to France for consumption by the troops during World War I. When the troops returned, they demanded more of this 'Grapelade,' and it was produced in quantity.
Jam and Jelly Today
In the UK, strawberry continues to be the most popular of all jams, with over 12,000 tonnes bought in Great Britain, in 1998.
In the US, approximately 1 billion pounds of fruit spreads are produced annually and the average American eats approximately 4.4 pounds a year.
While jams and jellies come in dozens of flavours and varieties, from the standard grape jelly to the more exotic chocolate jam, nine flavours account for more than 80 percent of total US production. The most popular, in order, are grape jelly, strawberry jam, grape jam, red raspberry jam, orange marmalade, apple jelly, apricot jam, peach jam and blackberry jam. An additional 28 flavors are commonly produced, but account for less than 20 percent of total production.
MAIL ORDER/BUY ONLINE
You can also order Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry preserves, Orange Marmalade, Apple Chutney and Strawberry Vinegar, for delivery by mail. Place your order either by clicking on the link below to print out the order form, or buy on line.