Bonne Maman

     I have this thing for jam.  I didn’t have a thing for jam before I went to France for the first time, so let us just assume that something there infected me.  Honestly, I don’t think the fascination is unique to the French, or even a French characteristic.  In fact, I am fairly certain that I have one person to thank for this attachment, his name is Philippe Haldenwang, and he at least, is French.
    Philippe, my French papa, is an all around awesome guy.  He is spry, smart, and both a talented cardiologist and sailor.  While by French standards he is on the American side of the touchy-feely scale (I mean, he’s not a big hugger or kisser), he has taken a liking to me, and the admiration is completely mutual.  From my experience in the Haldenwang household in Niort, Philipe is a great lover of tea and jam.  He taught me all sorts of things about tea (I am saving that post for another day, désolée
!) and I was always spreading exotic flavors of jam on my morning baguettes thanks to his fully-stocked frigo.
    To the untrained and unappreciative consumer, jam is a kind of run-of-the-mill condiment.  To me, however, jam is the ultimate accessory to any food in the bread/cracker family, both savory and sweet.  I am really not sure why Bonne Maman jam is so insanely delicious, but from the adorable checkered lid, to the charming French text scrawled in delightful cursive letters, and of course, the true fruit flavors only enhanced by a bit of sugar, these preserves manage to be the one grocery store splurge that I can truly justify.

    When is comes to flavors, Bonne Maman manages to tempt both the simple and more adventurous palette with flavors ranging from Framboise (Raspberry), Fraise (Strawberry), and Abricot to Figue, Cassis (Black Currant), or Mirabelles (a type of plum).  The flavors really are fruity and these confitures contain absolutely nothing artificial.  If you’re a jam-lover like me, you will also be thrilled to know that Bonne Maman carries a line of confiture “intense,” of which the apricot is my favorite, that literally have whole pieces of fruit in the jar.  Unfortunately, I am not sure that these varieties are available state-side, tant pis. 
    If you are looking to try any number of Bonne Maman flavors you will be pleased to know that they are the top imported preserve and thus can easily be found in supermarkets from New York to San Diego!  So I encourage anyone who has been so inclined to read about my irrational love for jam to take a mini vacation via Bonne Maman preserves.  So buy yourself a baguette and apricot jam, brew yourself a café
crème, and imagine that you are nibbling your petit déjeuner while sitting on your balcony overlooking the Seine... Not only is it totally worth the delight for your taste buds and imagination, but it’s certainly cheaper than an aller-retour ticket on AirFrance!

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Popi said...

Oh my honey, my dad will be pleased to read all the good things you are telling about him ! Anyway, the brand Bonne Maman should be pleased to have you in the US. Did you know that this brand is the typical example of a perfect marketing strategy ? It position itself as an home made jam that you can buy in a supermarket. It uses all the symbols of the jam of our granny : little red and white checked fabric on the top, fountain pen writing and big piece of fruit inside. That's why the consumer is ready to pay more. But nothing is like our grand-mother jam ! I promess I will not tell your french Mamie about that...!

Anonymous said...

aw, im not on your blogroll? boo sarah :) lol.
i love fruit spreads. i am going to attempt making my own soon.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just an FYI - "chou" is masculine, so your blog title should really be "Le chou curieux"!

S. Shoemaker said...

In response to anonymous - I know that "chou" is masculine, but seeing as I am not using it by it's original definition, and I am in fact a female, I think it's ok. "Chou" rhymes with my English nickname and honestly I don't think it's a misuse. And not that I feel this is a personal attack, but if you offer criticism, you shouldn't post anonymously!

del4yo said...

The chou in "mon petit chou" is actually a pastry , and a very cute nickname used mosty for girls. Make it feminine and it will be personal, if not perfectly correct :) I quite like it!

Thanks for your kind comment on my blog , mademoiselle la chou curieuse!

Anonymous said...

I just finished my jar of cherry jam I brought back as a souvenier from France. boo hoo. So I am travelling to San Diego soon. Which grocery store do I find Bonne Maman Jam? I need a fix.

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