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When most people think of “peanut butter and …” or “toast with butter and … ” they probably think of jelly. Specifically grape jelly. And for good reason: PB goes well with grape jelly. So does toast with butter. I happen to like grape jelly, myself, and it does the job well.
In this world, though, there are other options. I sometimes put honey on my PB sandwich, or on my buttered toast. Our family also sometimes will grace our toast with apple butter or some other spread.
Another option? Strawberry preserves.
Grape jelly was a staple of my childhood, but strawberry preserves were, too. I found the strawberry stuff to go terrifically with toast, and sometimes even peanut butter. As an added bonus, preserves have chunks of fruit in them, something that sets them apart from jellies.
Most stores that sell food of any kind — grocers, big box stores, even most convenience stores — sell some sort of jelly or jam. Most dollar stores do, too, which is how I spotted this number.
Chestnut Hill Strawberry Preserves (Family Dollar) can be found on the shelves at Family Dollar. Chestnut Hill is a Family Dollar brand, and it is exclusive to Family Dollar. The package states that the preserves are distributed by Midwood Brands, which is the Family Dollar company.
At the time of this post, the preserves come in an 18-ounce plastic jar and cost $1.85. That comes out to 10.2 cents per ounce, which is less than a similarly sized bottle of preserves from Walmart. It’s also about half the cost of name brand Smucker’s preserves, which the packaging on this Family Dollar preserves looks like it’s trying to imitate.
The package lists just a few ingredients, including sugar, strawberry fruit, pectin, citric acid, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate. It is listed as being a product of India, and it should be refrigerated after opening.
Nutritionally, it has some calories, some sugars, and not much else.
I wanted to like this, especially given the relatively few ingredients, but I was disappointed. The texture is firmer than many other strawberry preserves I’ve had, which makes it hard to spread on things like toast. I had to really work at it to get it layered on. It also lacked some of the chunks of strawberry I often see in preserves.
The taste, meanwhile, didn’t quite hit the mark. To me it tasted less like strawberry and more like … well, a non-fruit spread. I felt like substituted a sugar drink like Kool-Aid for real fruit.
Chestnut Hill Strawberry Preserves certainly is inexpensive compared to other preserves out there, including at Walmart. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the taste and texture to live up to my hopes. I won’t be buying this again.