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What's the difference between jam and fruit spread?

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
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strawberry jam, apricot, fruit spread, asda, meridian


In the shops you will come across fruit jams, jellies, spreads, and conserves. What is the difference, or are they really just the same thing?

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Jam is made using fruit and sugar, while jelly consists mainly of fruit juices and a gelling agents; any pulp is strained out. A fruit spread is jam with no added sugar., while in contrast, conserve is much sweeter and uses whole fruits. As a result it can also be chunkier than jam.
I find that the "fruit spreads" I have come across do not have added sugar. The sweetening agent is generally a fruit juice such as pear juice. The "fruit spread" can still have a high sugar content from the naturally occurring fructose in the fruit. My husband and I both have diabetes and use the fruit spreads modestly on our toast etc. I have also used them as part of a filling gin a sponge and in "jam tarts" in the past. The most common brands appear to be two imported from France (found in supermarkets and health food shops and they offer a very wide range of flavours) and an Australian brand (Dick Smith, which does not offer the diversity of flavours offered by the French brands). I sometimes use the jars of fruit spreads in gift baskets, particularly for those on specials diets. Hope this helps
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How interesting. I always just clumped them all into the same category. Maybe I'll have to look at them a little closer in the future.
I never gave it much thought either. I used to just think conserve was a fancy name for jam to people into paying more. But then one day I saw a jelly preserve, and noticed the texture was quite different, so it got me interested in what the actually differences were. I now go for fruit spread whenever possible because it has no added sugar, but tastes just as good.
I'm going to keep an eye out for 'fruit spread' when I head out to the shops today. I wonder what sorts we have available here.
Jam is delicious and fruit spread is not as tasty. In my opinion at least!
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