I know some of you are tempted by some of the jar offers around at the moment - especially on the various auction sites.
Some of them are great but you need to be careful. Do you know where the glass comes from? There is plenty of cheap glass on sale at the moment which may come from China, Portugal, India, the Eastern Bloc, you name it and pretty much every corner of the world will be into glass production all of a sudden. Which isn't a problem if you are certain that the glass is fit for purpose and is of a food grade.
The glass we recommend is British made. It carries the BRC - British Retail Consortium - mark giving full traceability for the product. It is produced to be food safe with full certification to back this up. It is also environmentally sound and can contain up to 70% recycled glass content. This figure is dependent on how much recycled glass is available from the roadside and recycling centres collections. The glass industry publish a table each week of the figures should you care to look into it.
Another factor is weight - British made jars are generally speaking heavier than their foreign counterpart. Glass is taken out mainly to cut direct cost of the product but will also impact on the cost of transportation. I have weighed the Le Parfait clip top preserving jars and the 1 litre size is one third heavier than its well-known competitor. That volume of glass is essential when heat treating or pressure canning with these jars. Mind you, they are French, but an old established company with pride in their product - and knowledge born of experience. There is also a great choice of Italian glass on the market which is also of high quality married with great design.
I am really into bottling or canning at the moment. Rediscovering all sorts of past delights and I cannot wait for the plums - maybe greengages! - later in the year to experiment with flavours even more. Greengages with vanilla maybe? I cooked with Wendy this week, from Ollie's Orchard, who has masses of apple and plum trees. We were discussing Chinese Five Spice with plums which would be great as a piquant sweet and sour bottled plum I think.
So there we have it. Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer chance. As they say. At www.lovejars.co.uk have the humble 190ml food jar for just 24p each in boxes of 128, lids and carriage extra.
Why not stock up for the Summer, there is free carriage if you order over £100 order value. Buy British - you know it makes sense.
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