So it stands to reason that I would enjoy these Trader Joe's Blackberry Preserves...and I did, but not as much as I had hoped.
First of all, there are no chunks of fruit in the spread. It's all a very even, gelatinous consistency. It feels fake. It feels too smooth almost. Secondly, I noted in the ingredients that Trader Joe's not only resorted to adding sugar, but they added corn syrup as well. So it seems as if the blackberry's natural flavor isn't quite sweet enough to make good preserves on its own. TJ's decided it needed some dressing up...and it was still a hair on the bland side in my opinion. Perhaps I overestimated the blackberry.
Please note that plain corn syrup is still better for the body than high-fructose corn syrup, as high-fructose corn syrup is actually a preservative that's created by adding artificial compounds to regular corn syrup that make it even sweeter and give it those preservative properties. (I still have 2 and a half glasses of Pepsi, which is chock full of high-fructose corn syrup like all regular sodas, when I go out to eat. I'm not so big a health nut that I've cut it out completely, I'm just saying it's pretty nasty when you think about it.)
Back to the point: I guess if you want a really natural jam or jelly, you need to buy something that says "100% all-fruit spread." Preserves are not necessarily that.
We ate the preserves with a little butter on Food for Life's brown rice bread, available at TJ's, but unfortunately not a TJ's brand product. Food for Life also makes a great millet bread, for the gluten-intolerant, and they're also the makers of Ezekiel 4:9 bread, inspired by a recipe in the Bible. We're fans.
Overall, the preserves were an adequate jam-like substance for our toast, but I felt that it failed to go way above and beyond like many TJ's products do. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. Sonia liked that it wasn't too sweet. She was a bigger fan than I. She was going to give it a 4, but when she found out about the addition of both sugar and corn syrup, she lowered her score to 3.5. Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.