CMB Sweets JamHow sweet it is: chunky, homemade-style preserves. From top: Kiwi-Lime-Ginger, Apricot and Raspberry. Photo by Michael Steele. Other photos by Brian Van Sise.




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KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.


July 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Jams & Jellies

CMB Sweets Preserves

Homemade-Style Jams, Jellies, Preserves & Fruit Butters From Ripe California Fruit


CAPSULE REPORT: CMB Sweets makes preserves with ripe, seasonal, mostly California fruit—much of it organic. The style is chunky and homemade, the concept is artisan California food at a reasonable price. The “Jam Of The Month Club” is a nice surprise—whether you’d like a jar showing up on your own doorstep each month, or would like to give a tasty, artisan food gift to a friend. The cute fruit characters on each jar make it an appropriate gift for a younger foodie-in-training.

Carolina Braunschweig, the “CMB” of CMB Sweets, is another person from corporate America, bitten by the bug to create good artisan food. While some converts are inspired by trips to Paris, Carolina’s inspiration was a jam-of-the-month club. Picking up a bushel of strawberries from a San Francisco farmers’ market in 2004, she taught herself to make jam, maintaining the integrity of the fruit with sugar and lemon juice as the only additions. The enthusiastic response it received was the beginning of a career switch.

CMB Sweets CharactersIn keeping with the homespun style of the jams, the labels have a variety of fruit characters—smiley faces with arms and legs, rendered by the jam maker and a friend. This is not only wholesome, good food, it’s fun food.


CMB Sweets uses only locally-grown seasonal fruits, developing relationships with small family farms in Northern California and scouring farmers’ markets for new supplies of the tastiest produce. With such quality fruit, the preserves are largely untampered-with: chunky whole berries, minimally cooked, that stay true to the flavor of the fruit (for the most part, there are no added herbs, spices, or other flavorings).

  • Apricot Aficionado is a jar of apricot halves, cooked with a little almond extract and lemon juice. There’s a citrusy lilt, and the fruit is so good, it can be used to top pancakes or even a pork chop.
  • Bodacious Boysenberry is a jar of berries “preserved” with lemon juice and the tiniest amount of sugar. The least sweet of the collection, we used it instead of cranberry relish on a turkey sandwich and as a condiment with pork loin and scallops.
  • Kiwi-Lime-Ginger is a find for kiwi-lovers: There aren’t too many kiwi preserves on the market. This has an excellent lime accent (the ginger is more subdued).
CMB Sweets - Boysenberry Preserves
Bodacious Boysenberry: large, plump berries.
CMB Sweets - Pear Butter
A Very Vanilla Pear Butter: smooth as silk.
  • Fragile raspberries lose their shape when cooked, but Raspberry Retainer is the thickest raspberry preserve we have ever seen: the raspberries seem more hefty than they were pre-cooked. This sweet spread is a most impressive raspberry preserve—so far above most of its kind that it seems more like a raspberry compote.
  • A Very Vanilla Pear Butter has the silky consistency of baby applesauce. Pear can be grainy: We applaud the texture. Unlike the chunky preserves, this butter enables the briefest slick on breads, pound cake, pancakes. While touted as “very vanilla,” it is unmistakably “very pear.”

Flavors are seasonal: New preserves, jellies and fruit butters appear based on what prime fruits can be scored each season. The Strawberry Confiture, which we did not taste prior to writing this review because strawberries were not in season, is a best-seller (and it’s in season now).

Jam Of The Month Club

CMB Sweets - Fruit CharactersSign up for three or six months, and a jar of homemade jam is delivered to your breakfast table—fresher and tastier than just about anything most people can buy locally. Your monthly jam will represent the best bounty of the season—for example, in May it might be apricot; in June, olallieberry* knocks at the door; and you can get figgy with it in August with fig-sesame spread. Surprise someone special—or surprise yourself!

*Olallieberry is a cross between the loganberry and the youngberry, each of which is itself a cross between the blackberry and, respectively, the raspberry and the dewberry. This can be berry confusing, but it tastes great!

PRESERVES: Apple Honey
Butter, Apricot Aficionado,
Bodacious Boysenberry,
Fig-Sesame Spread, Plums!
Honey! Headphones?, Prissy Li’l
Pomegranate, Raspberry
Retainer, Strawberry Confiture
FRUIT BUTTER: A Very Vanilla Pear Butter
Additional Flavors Available

  • 8-Ounce Jar
  • Jam Crush
    Four 8-Ounce Jars, Gift-
  • Mini Sampler Set
    Three 2-Ounce Jars
  • Jam Of The Month Club
    3 Months, $38

    6 Months, $76
    (Includes Shipping)

CMB Sweets PreservesSign up for the Jam Of The Month Club, or order them
all at once!

Purchase online at

Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional.