Whenever possible I use fresh, local fruit for my jams.
But the truth is, sometimes you just can't get the fresh fruit you need, when you need it.
Like, in December.
Unless you live in New Zealand. Which I don't. And if I did, I couldn't get fresh local fruit in July. So I'd still be stuck.
I live in Indiana and there are no fresh local fruits in December. Except maybe apples, but even they have been off the tree for a while. Plus, it's hard to make blueberry jam with apples.
Also, sometimes crops fail. Like this year our local blueberry people lost the entire crop to a late freeze.
So I have a choice:
1. I can whine a lot and go without. No blueberry jams this year.
2. I can go to Sam's and buy frozen blueberries. Which helps support another farmer who might live in California. Or Tennessee. And allows us to fill our freezer with blueberries and make blueberry jam whenever I get the urge. Like in December.
I love having options.
After careful consideration, we decided that option 2 was definitely the way to go.
This month at Sam's we've seen frozen mango, mixed fruit, mixed berries, blueberries, etc. I'm going to buy a bunch of whatever looks tasty when I see them because you never know when they'll disappear.
Since I have done enough peeling and pitting of fruit lately to last me for a while, those frozen sliced mangoes are looking pretty darned appealing. Mango jam is definitely on the list.
I'll be starting blueberry jams soon. This year, they'll be made with frozen berries from the store.
They'll still be fabulous.