Game Bites: Newfoundland Jam

In Game Bites we talk about fun food themed games and accessibility in gaming. My co-author is my son, Jacob, a non-nuerotypical aspiring chef. Every week we try a new game, he cooks a delicious related dish and shares the recipe, and we talk about the pros and cons of what we’ve played. So sit back, tuck your napkin in, and have a bite with us!

Collect ingredients, get together your canning supplies, and make some friggin’ jam before your opponent beats you to the recipe or the greedy Jam burglar steals and eats all your jam!

Newfoundland Jam game popped up on kickstarter around the time Jacob was really getting into canning. That summer he went on to win five ribbons and a rosette at our county fair for jams and chutneys, and just as the surplus supply was running low, this adorable Canadian export showed up to inspire some new recipes!

Newfoundland Jam is a super cute set collector for 2-4 players. Players start by setting up the pantry (a tableau of ingredient cards) and the recipe book (another of recipes cards). Each player starts with a hand of five ingredients. During their turn, a player may choose raid the pantry (draw ingredients) or unpack groceries (draw from the ingredient deck). Then they can complete recipes by paying in the correct assemblage of ingredient cards. Beware the Jam Burglar – this sneaky mainlander raccoon will steal your jam! First player to 11 points is the winner and crowned Grand Jam Champion of Newfoundland!

Clementine Mandarin Marmalade

10 clementines
1 lemon (meyer if you can)
3-4 cups natural orange juice
3.5 cups sugar

Wash all the fruit THOROUGHLY as you’ll be using the rind and pulp thoroughly. Cut the oranges into 1/8-inch slices using a mandolin, then quarter the slices. Zest and juice your lemon.

Place the oranges into a pot. Add the lemon zest and juice and 3 cups of the orange juice to the pot, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer and cook, stirring frequently until the fruit is very soft. Add the sugar and STIR CONSTANTLY until all the sugar is completely dissolved and the jam starts to set (the consistency of a loose jelly). If it starts to get to firm, you can use the leftover cup of orange juice to thin it.

If you plan on eating your marmalade in the next week or so, pour into a tupperware and store in the fridge. If you’d like to save some or distribute to friends, I recommend canning via a water bath – its really easy and there are some great tutorials online.

– Clementines have the perfect rind for marmalade, you can use the entire fruit!
– Using orange juice instead of water creates a stronger flavor
– I modified this recipe to create one of my ribbon winning jams last year – I added red pepper flake and subbed pinapple juice for the liquid, creating a spicy, sweet, and tart jam that Mom says is killer with mascarpone.

Jacob’s thoughts

Newfoundland Jam is a card game about creating jams! Gameplay can be casual of more competitive depending on your opponent – we started with a laid back game then played one where jam burglars and gales were frequent. Even while playing a little more aggressively, the bright art and food theme kept things lighthearted.

The rules were easy to understand and I like that they where written in order of how the game was played. It might have helped to have more pictures (There were some however, which was nice), and that it stated the goal of the game at first before delving into the rules.

The artwork of the game was very unique, and I like that the cards themselves showed the individual shapes of the ingredients so it was easy to figure out what you needed to play as well. The game would have worked a bit better with more players – two was ok, but more would encourage a more cutthroat approach with the ability cards. If you want a quick game that’ll easily fit into your bag, then this may be your JAM!

AnnaMaria’s thoughts

This was another easy read for Jacob – I think rulebooks are getting somewhat more clear and he’s getting better and better about interpreting how to get started and play. Newfoundland Jam isn’t something you’ll reach for with your more hardcore gamer group, but its a light set collector with a unique theme, and the cheerful watercolor illustrations really give this a homey, feel good feeling when playing ( it somewhat reminds me of Carroll County Cake Swap – the kind of game you’d totally play with grandma.)

In particular I appreciated that each ingredient has a unique shape, making it easy to see what was available. The jam pots are all different as well, but you’ll have to get to know the cards some before you can pick out Strawberry vs Rhubarb (and +1 for including rhubarb, which totally need more love!) Also, allow me to wax eloquent for a moment about magnetic boxes, which are SO much easy to open and repack than tuck boxes or small card boxes.

There’s a reference on the back to flavorful cuss words, but the strongest things we found were ‘friggin’ and ‘juice arse’ – maybe Canadians are just as nice with their swears as everything else. Penalties seemed minor as well – most of the competitive buts of the game will come from trying to collect similar items, and it’d be difficult to really put someone in a pickle.

Final Bite

This sweet, fruity game is the perfectly suited to a cheese tray and game night with the family!