What Makes a Great Grape Jam?

A high-quality grape jam should lead with concord grape notes in both the aroma and flavor profiles. There will also likely be a cooked note present, but the intensity should not be so high so as to mute the concord grape intensity. There may also be a citrus note present.

The taste profile should lead with sweet and be followed by sour.

There should be some expected level of astringency in the texture and the dissolve should be moderate in length. The texture may be “lumpy” and gelatinous – but it should not be gritty.

There may be some lumpiness in the appearance and the color will range from purple to a dark burgundy. It should not appear to be overly separated – with visible liquid.

When the jam is eating in application with a PBJ, both the concord grape and peanut butter intensities should remain – one should not overwhelm the other. The sandwich should remain intact after the first bite, meaning that the jelly should not “ooze” out from the sandwich.

Tasting terms

  • flavor intensity

    A measurement of the strength of a flavor in a particular food. Example: High-quality chocolate will have high cocoa flavor intensity.

  • appearance

    The visual quality of a food. Used to organize attributes such as color and consistency of size, it is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate food. The other dimensions are aroma, texture, flavor and taste. Example: The appearance of green olives includes attributes such as color (pale to dark) and consistency of size (inconsistent to consistent).

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • blind test

    A form of judging in which brand identities are hidden from the judges to promote impartiality. ChefsBest conducts blind tests on all of the products it judges. Example: By identifying foods with code numbers instead of their brand names, ChefsBest is able to create a blind test.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.