A little over a year ago, when I was traveling up the west coast promoting Naturally Sweet, I stopped in at Down to Earth in Eugene for a demo and book signing. Before we got started, I took a moment to wander through their canning section. They had all the familiar jars and tools, but they also had a massive array of Le Parfait jars.
I wanted to fill the car with an array of those graceful, sturdy jars, but sadly, I was 3,000 miles from home and driving my parents’ station wagon. I was fairly certain that they would not appreciate it if I rolled up to their house with a wayback full of French preserves jars and asked them to keep them in the garage until I could find a way to get them back to Philadelphia.
Now, Le Parfait makes several lines of jars. Most of us are familiar with the Super Jars with their rubber gaskets and locking lids (I particularly love their Super Terrines for dry goods). And you may have used or spotted their Jam Jars (they have lug lids and look much like the jars you buy Bonne Maman jam in). But it was their Familia Wiss line that most captured my attention.
The reason that I was so charmed by Familia Wiss is that they are functional canning jars that are incredibly durable and beautiful. They have really wide mouths, making packing and filling a dream. They come in a wider array of sizes than regular mason jars (200, 350, 500, 750, 1000, and 1500 mL). And I found the sealing system so smart and reasonable.
Instead of using a lid and ring like our standard two-piece system, these jars use a flat lid and a fully encapsulating lid. The metal is heavier, they’re less prone to rusting, and seal that’s produced is incredibly strong. When you open up the jar to eat the contents, you can discard the flat lid and just use the cap for storage (they also sell bright orange plastic lids that fit these jars, which are a fun option for storing pantry items).
Once you understand how the basics of how the lids work, you can approach these Familia Wiss jars the same way that you do any other mason jar. You want to use new lids for each round of canning (and they can be ordered here). They should be clean but don’t need to be boiling prior to use. And like any other jar, once the jar has cooled and the seal is achieved, you can remove the outer lid and store the jars with just their sealed flat lid.
There is one downside to the Le Parfait Familia Wiss jars and that’s their cost. They come at a higher price than we’re typically accustomed to paying for canning jars. At first I bristled at the idea of paying more for jars, but I’m starting to think that they’re worth the price.
For one thing, they’re so much stronger than the grocery store jars. I hear from people on a near-daily basis about brand new Ball jars breaking in the canner. I can’t imagine that ever happening with a Le Parfait Familia Wiss jar. They are just so darn tough. And since I know that canning is something I’m going to continue to do across my lifetime, investing in gear that will pull its weight for the long haul doesn’t bother me.
The other thing is that I believe that working with higher quality jars leads to a more thoughtful approach to food preservation. Sometimes I preserve simply because I got a good deal or I start to feel that summertime panic that everything is currently in season and I MUST. PUT. UP. However, as I strive to be more conscious and preserving with an eye towards using up (rather than stockpiling), choosing the strong, beautiful jars that happen to be a little more expensive feels like a good choice.
This week, I’m partnering with the Le Parfait folks on a promotion and a giveaway. Two lucky people will each win a set of four 750 mL Le Parfait Familia Wiss jars (use the widget below to enter). These jars hold the same volume as the pint and a half jars that so many of us find particularly useful!
If you want to try some of the Le Parfait Familia Wiss jars and don’t want to take your chances on the giveaway, you can head over to Amazon, browse the size options, and use the code FOODNJAR for 5% off your order (the code is good through the end of July).
Hoping I get a prolific crop of tomatoes this year to can. These jars are very nice.
For my husband and I, it always seems a pint is too small and a quart – too large, so these would be the perfect size for tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes as well as soups!
Thanks for the heads up! I’ve been looking for some nice jars that appeal to me for gift-giving. I would probably use a few in each batch just for gifting and my own use. Most of my sharing and swapping can be done using Ball/Kerr jars that I know I won’t get back anyway.
Stone fruit jam.
These would be lovely for the tangelo mimosa jelly I am making
These are so cute! I’d use them to pack my lunch supplies
I would use these to make the most beautiful and colorful soups with all the colors of summer and fall produce.
Yays! I can;t wait to see who wins!
I’ve dipped my toes into the canning pool and put up 3 pints of cucumber pickles. Bought some seconds today and have to plan the next batch.
These jars are beautiful. I would love to use them to make gifts. I could see Marisa’s Chocolate Cherry Preserves in those jars!
I think I’d use the 750 ml jars to put up spicy dilly beans. I didn’t make anywhere near enough last year so a bigger jar sounds like a great idea!
Raspberry jam, a family favorite.
Beautiful jars, and boy, are they pricey! I’d probably use them for long pickled things… asparagus or carrots… or storage.
I would make jams to sell at our craft shows.
These jars are cool! I’d probably make something vibrant like strawberry jam so they can be front and center in the pantry.
I am a farmer, and honestly it’s hard to make time to preserve in our busy season! It’s so frustrating when I finally make a batch of something, only to have jars break in the canner. I’d love to have the reliability of these sturdy looking jars. Making cherry jam this evening. 🙂
I think I’d look for a new recipe to celebrate 🙂
The Familia Wiss jars are absolutely beautiful! It’s sad to think Ball jars aren’t as sturdy anymore. I’d use these jars to make some Sweet Pickled Banana Peppers :).
How about some pickles.
I would have to can some beautiful jam. Heading over to Amazon now to take a peek at these most wonderful jars!
They are so pretty I would store my herbs and spices in them in the kitchen.
I have fallen in love with blackberry syrup, so my jars will be filled to the brim with it. A drizzle over plain yogurt, and topped with mango and coconut flakes in January (or anytime) is my favorite way to start the day.
It’s hard to say how I would use these jars… I totally get the idea of being thoughtful. I might do a pickle of some sorts for the hubs, I might save them for the next batch of boozy plums, or I might even make the leap into purchasing a home freeze dryer and use these for storing freeze dried produce from our urban farm.
I think I would make jelly in them. Thank you for the chance to win!
I am planning on pickled cauliflower=)
Thanks for the opportunity!
I can think of two ways to use them right away! Since they have no shoulders, they are ideal for freezing soups and sauces. I would use them for my homemade red chile sauce and for a new asparagus soup recipe I found. They would also work very well for rendering lard–wide, easy to fill opening, then super easy to dip spatula into & scrape out last bit with their straight sides. Thank you Marisa for introducing these jars to us, and for your thorough review! They seem very sturdy.
Gorgeous. Thinking I’d make some jam destined for a parfait!
These look like great jars for tomato sauce. I absolutely love the solid lid that means you don’t have to deal with a two-piece lid and rim after opening them!
They’re so pretty! I’d make a jam (probably raspberry) or a citrus curd (probably key lime, though lemon is much prettier).
I have been wanting to learn my aunts Strawberry Jam recipe, so I would use these to store the Jam.
These jars really are beautiful! I’m intrigued by the two-stage lid, very different than any other lids on the market that I can think of. Honestly not sure if I’d use them for canning or storage.
Very nice jars! I’d be inspired to pickle some okra and green beans, and of course make some jam with the beautiful blackberries and peaches that are in season now.
I think I’d make a batch of tomato jam for these special jars
I would love to make jam and put it in these beautiful jars. It would be parfait! Oui?
I’m trying to banish the plastic containers from my home, so these would be mostly used for food storage, leftovers, and overnight oatmeal.
These jars are very pretty. I’d love to use them for strawberry jam.
I’d use these for the big batches of roasted corn salsa that I’ll be making now that my CSA is sending corn!
I’m just learning to preserve this year through the FIJ challenge, so I’d love to try canning with these beautiful jars!
Pickles are the next canning job for me. I bought some yummy little cucumbers at the farmers market. Thanks for the giveaway.
It’s picking season, I’d use the jars to ale several batches of pickles.
I use my jars for everything from actually canning to storing leftovers to drinking glasses to decoration.
They always have a place 😀
Canning tomatoes and peaches!!!
What beautiful jars to have and use.
Oh, my jar obsession just grew! I’d love to put up food in those!
I WOULD USE TO MAKE GIFTS
Not sure what I would put in them, maybe dry goods to keep the jars where I can see them in my kitchen. If I am not greedy, then something I will be giving away.
These jars are gorgeous! My tomato plants are all but falling over with green fruit–I think I’m going to have a LOT of sauce to can once they all ripen. Thanks for doing this giveaway!
Are the French Le Parfait jar lids compatible with American Mason Jars?