Amid this week's usual pile of packages addressed to the music section, one item stood out: Grandma Warble's Strawberry Jam. Needless to say as the Mercury's jam, jelly, and preserve intern, I was thrilled. The jam comes compliment of Warble Records, a small Salem label that is hosting an interactive showcase at Holocene on July 21, complete with video art and sets from Sustentacula, Massive Moth, and plenty more. But enough about all that, let us get down to the good stuff—the jam.
The aroma encountered upon opening the small jar is to be expected, a tangy berry sensation that tingles the nostrils and makes you recall that old "I'd rather be eating marionberry, but I'm not in Oregon" feeling. I sampled the jam on its own, so as to encounter the full flavor, uninhibited by toast or bagel. To my pleasant surprise, the mixture avoided the age old mistake of over-sweetening. It had a calm and inviting sweetness that did not mask the more subtle overtone of lemon.
The next test? Lets see how it fares on our very own Tuckerbox, which is an authentic Australian bite-sized treat. Coupled with a sugary oatmeal cookie, the jam was quite nice; allowing the cookie to shine through with its undeniable Aussie-ness. The only sensation left unsatisfied was that of spice. My favorite jams have always had a hint of spice to them, just a little kick to make your breakfast that much more memorable. But Grandma Warble's didn't quite pull through on this one. While this is a jam that will work for breakfast, when compared to the big boys, it will have a tough chance at making the cut.
Final jam score: 6.8/10