Saturday, 30 January 2010

Attention urban homesteaders

A query for you. How old is too old? And we're talking jam here, not people.

As part of the general life improvement plan I have tracked down and examined all my jars of jam and other preserves as part of the process of moving them to a new cupboard. Is there a life span on these? How old a canned item would you eat? Does it depend on the item?

I have two-year-old jam. Would you eat that? What about a three-year-old Christmas mincemeat made with suet? There are no obvious signs of mould or other disintegration. Would you try it if it smelt okay? Or would you play it safe? Does it depend on how hungry you are? Or your philosophical stance on food resources?

What about unlabelled preserves? What would you do about them? I have a longstanding "discussion" running with certain close family members who do not label their preserves. Otherwise nice sensible people, they insist that you will know what is in the jar. Other than this not being the case (there was a tense showdown one Easter over confusion between plum jam and dark marmalade and there are the slightly confusing jams that are mainly one thing but also had a piece of some other fruit thrown in lest it be wasted), there is always the food safety aspect.

Any advice gratefully received.


Anonymous said...

嘿,你的部落格不錯耶~~只是想跟您問聲好!! ..................................................

Violet O said...

Jam is unequivocally too old when it is growing something...otherwise it seems to last forever

Blithe said...

Thanks Violet O. Thanks to advice received and my reluctance to throw away what seems to be perfectly good food, I have come to the same conclusion.