OK, This is such a diverse group that I am asking this question. We have some jars of jam made (commercially) in France. The company apparently no longer exports their product as the website is entirely french. The jars are Sealed--so well that it took some effort to open them, and there was a nice loud "Swuueep" of the vacuum releasing when I did open it. They are dated Dec 2012.
Should I just toss them, or eat them, the Blackberry doesn't really taste like Blackberry to us.
And writing this, I am realizing I really am a cheapskate--but I hate to waste food too!
Thanks guys & gals.
I would guess its ok as long as your health insurance is up to date, Have 911 on speed dial and you have me listed as sole beneficiary for everything.
Disclaimer; I am not a health worker. Sounds like it was still sealed and unless it was moldy I might eat it.
Black Berry could be any berry that was black so may not taste like what you expect.
Probably fine. After all, jams like this are considered "preserves" aren't they? I would only be concerned if the vacuum were no longer there. But, I'm not a doctor or scientist...
Being vacuum sealed like that I'd say they're fine too, but what do I know! I do like Will's sense of humor though!!
Mom's jam was good for years, home canned, Ball Mason jars, sealed with paraffin wax. Dave in Bellingham,WA
OK, you never know what the French consider "Blackberry" probably nothing close to Oregon's Blackcap berries!
The canning process goes WAY back. Napoleon's army gained a major advantage because they used canned food to keep the army fed and avoid staying where his enemies could find them (because it would have to have been where food was available). More than a few original and unopened cans still exist.
About thirty years ago, some scientists decided to open one of them, and test it. It was a sort of a canned stew. Over time, it had become mushy, perhaps a bit pasty, but tested safe. A couple volunteers even tasted it. They said it wasn't bad. And it was more than a hundred years old.
For many years, many people canned their own fruits, vegetables, and preserves (jams and jellies). My family has a long tradition of doing so. It was common to store them, often for several years before use.
Unfortunately, like most things the government gets involved in (here he goes again!), expiration dates and "use by" dates started out as a good idea with specific noble goals. Thanks to politics and lawyers, the idea was perverted totally to a CYA (cover your @XX ). On most products, those dates mean nothing.
There IS another reality. The fact is, that ANY canned good can go bad. The reality is, that if there is a mistake in the canning process, or any of several types of contaminations, it WILL go bad. But it will probably go bad quickly (see, that date is pointless), and one of the results will be a loss of that partial vacuum. This is why you should always listen for it when opening. If a canned good has not gone bad within a month or two, it would probably be fine for many years. As with almost everything, there are almost always exceptions (honey, for instance, does not require a vacuum).
If it were me? I would enjoy the jam!
But like Will C said, you could put me in your will first!
And, what Mark G said is also true. French "Blackberry" will not be quite the same as Oregon Blackberry.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I would do it. I might feed some to the dog first. YMMV (Your mucilage may vary.)
XXXX I type slow. Jerry Tim David and David all snuck in ahead of me!
I would not worry about it based on it still holding vacuum. Berries taste different depending on the soil and environment, and the Europeans don't tend to use as much sugar as we do. I bet it is really good with peanut butter on a cracker.
When I worked for a school district we were told to go to all the schools and empty the old fall out shelters and get rid of all the 5 gallon cans of water, crackers, cheese, spam etc. They were from the late 40's and early 50's. This was in 1999 and the maintenance department I worked in took and opened the water, crackers, cheese, and spam and had a party. Everything was very fresh and we had fun until the supervisor showed up and made us toss it. I kept several of the olive drab 5 gallon cans for years but then donated them to a military museum.
Take a chance, Columbus did!
I saw a story on 60 minutes a couple years ago about truffles. The scam was cheap Chinese truffles, shipped to France and canned there for sale at the much higher price of French truffles. The story commented that the French law allows the canner to claim "Produit du France" even if it's just the final packaging step that's done there.
Buyer beware / Eater beware. That said, if I heard that vacuum release, I'd be good to go. Sugar is a worthy preservative.
Oh heck just keep a bottle of this handy...
Thanks for all the help folks, yeah the vacuum seal was great--took a lot of effort to open the lid! And the center of the lid popped right up when the vacuum was released.
So, I'm Jammin'
If you don't see any posts from me for a few days, well. . . .
Good luck David,
Should be fine as i have some from 20 years ago that still looks alright.
When I was in Vietnam in '70-'71, we ate "C" rations that were dated MANY years older than four years old, we survived. Dave
I have just opened and started to use some home-bottled plum jam. The date on the jar is February 2010.
Over the years my wife and I have 'bottled' (Curious, in USA it is called 'Canned', here it is 'bottled' but in reality the food is in a jar!)anyway, we have preserved all manner of our own fruits and vegetables, as well as making quantities of jam. we usually make far too much for our own use and give quite a bit to friends. Produce so preserved will last for as long as the lid on the jar remains intact- in other words 10 years or more.
In 1960 I ate "C" rations dated 1941 and would trade my cigarettes for more rations, and when you are hungry they taste pretty good.
Im with you Eugene, In 1968 in Nam... we had some "C"s dated 1944... with Lucky Strike greens in them...LOL
I joined the army just as C-rats were headed out the door and MRE's were coming in. I guess we had C-rats for the first couple of years. I have no idea how old they were. I still have that P-38 on my key ring and still use it on occasion.
I'm no biologist, but I suspect the chance of canned food going bad is a function of whether there was any bacteria in it that survived the canning process or if any has been introduced since. If the answer to either of those is "no", I suspect it would last almost indefinitely. If there were any that survived the canning process, then the food would have spoiled almost immediately.
Speaking of canning, government, and army, when I was in AIT, we got to come home on leave for Christmas. One of the things they told us before we left was to NOT eat any food that had been home canned, no matter how much you loved your Grandma's homemade jelly. Funny. Of all things to warn about. I'm sure there were others as well, but that one stood out in my mind. I don't recall now whether I ate any while home on leave or not, but probably. If I didn't, it wasn't because they told me not to.
See, I was a rebel even back then.
In the late 1800's the steamboat Arabia hit a snag and sunk in the Missouri River a few miles upstream of Kansas City. At the time they salvaged as much as possible but eventually the Arabia was swallowed up by the Missouri river mud. Later the Missouri changed course and in the late 1900's someone mounted an operation to recover the boat and anything left. Much more was salvaged including cases of pickles in jars. One brave soul opened a jar, ate some of the 100+ year old pickles and survived to tell the tale.
If you come to Kansas City you can see an exhibit of the tale of sinking and much later recovery efforts in it's own building at River Market downtown. The mud did an amazing job of preserving the cargo and it's all on display.
Oh and I forgot to mention I wouldn't hesitate to eat that jam given the good vacuum still evident.