1) What are Fruit Jewels and how are they made?
Fruit Jewels are our version of the French confection - Pates de Fruits, which literally translates to "fruit paste". It has a long history in France, and is a type of fruit preserve enjoyed as a fine delicacy. We make our Fruit Jewels in small batches, like most artisan confectioners in France still do. We cook all of the ingredients: the fruit/vegetable puree, juice, or wine, organic sugar, glucose syrup, pectin, and citric acid together, then we pour the mixture into a mold to let it set. Finally we cut the candy into individual squares. This confection is essentially a hard-set jam. While the French coat the pates de fruits in granulated sugar to achieve a beautiful presentation, and to prevent the pieces from sticking to each other, we have opted to package each piece of confection in its own individual pouch, leaving the option to coat the confections in sugar to those who wish to do so.
2) How are the Fruit Jewels best enjoyed?
Our Fruit Jewels are enjoyed similar to how the best chocolate confections are enjoyed - without guilt, and preferably with a dessert wine and some cheese. It's also a great accompaniment for coffee and tea. You may also sprinkle a small amount of diced pieces onto yogurt, ice cream or use as garnish on a plated dessert.
3) What do you use as the sweeteners in the Fruit Jewels?
We use organic cane sugar as the sweetener. The glucose syrup also adds some sweetness to the final product even though its function is not that of a sweetener.
4) What is glucose syrup and why do you need to use it?
Our glucose syrup is made from hydrolyzed wheat starch, and is gluten-free. It's imported from France, where it's widely used as an ingredient in confection, pastry, and ice cream production. It's an inverted sugar and prevents the end product from recrystallizing. There're other natural and man-made inverted sugars used for food production, such as honey, corn syrup, and golden syrup.
5) How should the Fruit Jewels be stored and what is the shelf life?
You should store the Fruit Jewels at room temperature in a cool and dry place, away from the sun or hot lighting. Excessive heat induces "sweating" and reduces shelf life. When stored properly, the Fruit Jewels are good for four months from the date of production. There is no need to refrigerate the Fruit Jewels in most cases. However, if you choose to refrigerate our Fruit Jewels, please be aware that moisture is an enemy of confections, and that there is a lot of moisture in refrigerators.
6) Will the Fruit Jewels melt in a warm/hot environment?
Our Fruit Jewels will "sweat", but not melt, unless they are cooked over direct heat.
7) Are the Fruit Jewels safe to travel with?
Our Fruit Jewels are very safe and convenient to travel with. They are not "agriculture products" for the purpose of agriculture inspection at the airport for flights to the mainland or overseas, because they're cooked like jams and jellies, ridding the pests, bacterium, and viruses that may be present in fresh produce. Additionally, our Fruit Jewels can be packed in carry-on luggage, while jams and jellies are usually confiscated by airport security if found in carry-on luggage, because they are categorized as liquids.
8) What is the gelling agent used to make the Fruit Jewels?
We use pectin as the gelling agent.
9) What is pectin?
Pectin is a soluble dietary fiber found in the walls of most fruits. The fruits that contain the greatest amount of pectin are berries, apples, and citrus fruits. Pectin is traditionally used to set jams and jellies. For fruits that contain a high amount of pectin, such as cranberries, no additional pectin is required to make the jams or jellies set.
10) Are the Fruit Jewels vegan or gluten-free?
The Fruit Jewels are all natural, vegan and gluten-free. There is no artificial or natural coloring or flavoring added to the product. We work hard to source whenever possible, organic ingredients. Due to the fact that we currently use a shared commercial kitchen that is not gluten-free, we are not able to label our products as being gluten-free.
11) How much sugar is there in the Fruit Jewels?
Over 50% of the ingredients by weight in the fruit jewels consist of just the fruit/vegetable puree or juice. All the other ingredients - glucose syrup, pectin, and citric acid make up the rest. Our Fruit Jewels contain much less sugar than most jams and jellies on the market. Additionally, we use organic cane sugar, which has a glycemic index(GI) of 47, compared to 80 for refined white sugar. Read more here about organic sugar versus refined white sugar here.
12) I'm diabetic. Can I eat your Fruit Jewels?
We don't recommend our products for diabetes patients, as our products still contain a considerable amount of added sugar. We believe refined white sugar should be avoided entirely, and even organic sugars should be consumed sparingly, regardless of whether one is diabetic or not. We have developed a unique production process to create intense flavors in all of our Fruit Jewels, so that you only need to consume a small amount of Fruit Jewels in order to achieve the maximum satisfaction.
13) Have you tried to use other sweeteners, like honey or agave nectar?
We have tried and we are not planning to use any other sweetener commercially in our Fruit Jewels.
14) Why don't you use sugar substitutes such as xylitol?
We don't believe the food industry has enough experience with sugar substitutes to fully appreciate their potential side effects on human beings. We have no plans to use sugar substitutes in our products in the foreseeable future.
15) Where did you come up with the idea and recipe to make this product?
The French have been making pates de fruits for hundreds of years. The famous French writer Voltaire (1694-1788) raved about this coveted confection in his private correspondence. Lin learned about this confection from her travels to Europe, and as part of her training at Le Cordon Bleu London. After we moved to Maui, we decided to try to make pates de fruits using fresh fruits grown on Maui. It took us over a year to develop our current production process.
16) What are your policies for refunds and exchanges?
Please refer to our Returns page.
17) Do you ship internationally?
We can. However, the shipping rates are different for each country and there is no easy way to manage that online. Therefore at the moment we are not offering this option.
18) Do you have special offers?
From time to time, we will rollout special offers as a token of our appreciation for your loyal customers. Please click here to see the current special offers.
19) How can I redeem the discount coupon codes?
First place the items you wish to purchase in your shopping cart. When you are ready to checkout, please follow a two-step process to redeem your coupon code: