14 June 2013

Taste Test: Huntley Berry Farm jam, Huntley (7 June 2013)

Huntley Road, Huntley NSW 2800

Community made jam

“Huntley Berry Farm is an OCTEC-owned and operated Australian Disability Enterprise, as well as a significant contributor to Orange’s reputation for high quality locally grown produce. The farm has long been known for its large variety of berries, which visitors can pick themselves between November and May each year.”

Thanks to Tom Harvey from OCTEC (Orange Community Training and Education Centre) for sending me some jam samples made by Huntley Berry Farm. OCTEC is a not-for-profit community business providing employment, education, training and advocacy services to all members of the community in the Central West of NSW. At the farm, a number of people with disabilities are employed to carry out activities associated with operating Huntley Berry Farm. I did a taste test of 12 jams, 1 jelly and 1 chutney on some pancakes which I thought would make a suitable base. Overall the jams were well received with the Boysenberry and Bourbon Jam being a clear favourite amongst many including myself. It had an enjoyable well-rounded mouth flavour with a bit of punch. I also liked the Blackberry and Whisky Jam. It must be the balance of alcohol that I found really worked a treat although probably best to avoid feeding to the kids. I thought the Strawberry Rose Jam would be good on scones and the Strawberry and Vanilla Jam would suit a sponge cake. The Feijoa and Macadamia Jam might work well with cheese instead of quince paste and the runny Red Currant Jelly with a turkey sandwich. The Feijoa Chutney would probably go well on a ham sandwich. Marmalade or mixed berry jam don't seem to be available in the range which are some of my favourite jams I tend to look out for. Pricing comes at a premium at $2.50 for a 40ml, $7 for 200ml, $9.50 for 300ml and the jams with alcohol $8.50 for 200ml and $10.50 for 300ml. I'd recommend visiting the farm to sample products before purchasing as there's so many choice and everyone's taste is different in what they find appealing.

Here's a great video by ABC Central West NSW

PROS: Interesting flavour combinations, Quality ingredients, Supports people with disabilities and local community
CONS:  The online shop needs a bit of refresh to make it easier to navigate and purchase products, Jams are at a premium price, I'm assuming you need to avoid feeding alcoholic jams to kids, Marmalade or mixed berry jam not available
MUST TRY: Boysenberry and Bourbon Jam, Blackberry and Whisky Jam, Visiting Huntley Berry Farm during fruit picking season
VERDICT: An extensive range of jams that tempts me to visit the farm during fruit picking season as a family outing

Boysenberry and Bourbon Jam — good balanced flavour
Strawberry and Cointreau Jam — nice, slight marmalade taste from I think the Cointreau
Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar and Pepper Jam — OK although quite a thick consistency
Blackberry and Whisky Jam — good flavour
Strawberry Rose Jam — would go well on scones with cream
Strawberry and Vanilla Jam — would go well in a sponge cake
Raspberry Jam — good
Spiced Blackberry Jam — nice
Blackberry, Balsamic Vinegar and Pepper Jam — quite thick, robust flavour notes
Rum and Raspberry Jam — nice
Feijoa and Macadamia Jam — would probably go well with cheese like quince jam
Blackberry and Lime Jam — lifted end notes of lime
Red Currant Jelly — nice but very runny consistency, might be good for turkey sandwiches
Feijoa Chutney — nice for perhaps ham sandwiches or roast meats
Tasting survey
My tasting notes
Toscano pancakes ($4, Coles) — I used these as the tasting base. They taste better if you quickly pan fry them with a bit of butter to warm them up

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