I discovered this excellent jam from Smuckers – Wild Blueberry No Sugar Added. This is a very tasty jam with real blueberries in it and 20 calories per tablespoon. So adding that to a couple of slices of toast generally adds 40 or 50 calories to a snack or meal.
Then I went on a shopping tour to Watertown New York and found the American version of this jam – Sugar Free Blueberry Preserves. This has half the calories and no sugars. Same number of carbohydrates at 5g per tablespoon, and it actually contains a couple of grams of fiber per tablespoon. So if it tastes any good, it is a much better food for one than the no sugar added version.
Here is what they look like side by side. Since I am testing the XQ1 and shot these hand held (braced) at 100 ISO in really ugly low light, I think it is interesting to show the color corrected JPEG followed by the RAW. Just for your interest.
So one notable thing is that the Canadian version has blueberries as its first ingredient. This is a good thing, generally :-)
The American version has water, followed by polydextrose and maltodextrin and then coming in a distant fourth place is blueberries. Hmmm …. since this is by weight, having two chemicals beat blueberries is a matter for some concern.
But pretending that we did not notice this, how do these taste?
Well … it is not much of a contest.
The Canadian no sugar added version has the taste and texture of blueberry pie filling. And for those who love blueberry pie, this is a revelation. Low calories, controlled amounts of sugar, and the taste of pie. Mmm, mm, mmmmmmm :-)
On the other hand, the American version has the texture of liquid rubber / paste and about the same taste, with the a hint of that sickly semisweet fake blueberry taste that you get in “blueberry drink” beverages. To say that my toast was disgusting is to totally underestimate what I am trying to tell you.
And I ate it twice on two slices each time – slathered to coat the peanut butter layer for maximum effect – before pronouncing it dead. But dead it is …
I hated throwing away two full jars of this stuff, but I would not even give it away as it does not taste like food anyway. Last night I noticed a sale on the wild blueberry version and bought three more jars. Whew!
So in a simple twist of fate, I suggest that Americans consider shopping for their low calorie blueberry jams in Canada. Because there really is no contest whatsoever.