Practicing Creativity

French Strawberries and Homemade Strawberry Jam

Ripe Cléry strawberries.

It's strawberry time in France – or fraises as they're called here and oh my, they are good! My husband and I love fresh strawberries. We've been eating our way through the different varieties since April, when they first came into season (out of season imported strawberries = yuck!). We've got plenty of choice for strawberries in France as there are several different types. 

4.5 kilos of Cléry strawberries ready and waiting.

Five of the more common varieties are Gariguettes, Ciflorettes, Charlottes, Mara des Bois, and Cléry. Almond shaped Gariguettes appear first in spring markets; they are sweet, melt in your mouth juicy and a tiny bit acidic. Their only downside is as they're first on the market, they tend to be on the pricey side. Next up are the Ciflorettes, a bit elongated and orange red in color, they are great for tartes. Plump sweet Charlottes have a wonderful smell and their long harvesting season means you can find them from the end of April 'til early fall. Mara des Bois appear a bit later, around the first of June, and are small, round and super sweet. These fragrant beauties are so pretty you hate to eat them. The Cléry strawberry is part of the variety referred to as ronde, their larger size, deep red color and sweetness make them a perfect choice for jam, which is what we chose these for.

Et voila! The end result!

My husband likes to make his own confiture (jam) and turns up his Gallic nose at any other. We finished off the last jar of his homemade jam a few weeks ago, so the situation was getting desperate. As strawberries can be expensive at the first of the season, we've been waiting for a good price on good quality to buy a few kilos for jam. We found these Cléry strawberries last week and while not cheap at €4.76 a kilo we thought that a fair price (we bought 4.5 kilos). My husband is the one who does all the prep and cooking, I help with the clean up and enjoy the end result! It really is a lot of work and I admire him for the effort.

Ah...but I do make the labels. I created this one from a vintage game card (like this one for his cherry jam). Here it is if you'd like to use it for your own jam jars.


2 comments

  1. I do love fresh strawberries and miss the French markets. Enjoy that homemade jam. Thanks for the label. I will certainly use it if I ever attempt making jam.

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  2. Um, excuse me, different varieties of strawberries?!?! Well, that's just not fair. Here we have strawberries....no different varieties about it. I have on very slim occasion seen a sugar baby kind (or something like that) show up but they are twice the price for half as much so I've never had them. I make jam too....but it's just freezer jam, which I like better myself, but I know some don't consider it "real" jam. Love the labels so thanks for sharing!

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