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).
These jars are lovely…perfect for my future batch of currant mint jelly!
And you’re right about the new Ball jars bursting at times…I cherish the old ones I have inherited.
Pickles! and since I missed the early strawberries, I’m looking forward to the later harvest now
Beautiful jars……I will have a very hard time sharing my bounty when I use these jars!!! I would add a “please return this jar” label.
Pickles & jam. Thank you for the giveaway! This brand is Phenomenal!
Jam or canned peaches… I have a toddler who loves peaches.
Our pickles are coming in our garden so I’d use these for bread and butters and spicy dill spears! Yum!
Peach BBQ sauce!
Yep, I’m one of those people who regularly has exploding Ball jars. It’s the worst when I pour a smoothie into one of them for my son and the bottom just falls out. What the heck! I would love to try these jars. Thanks!
I am also trying to be more conscious of how much I preserve this year. I have had to throw away lots of old pickles after I was too ambitious and my garden was prolific.
I would use them for pickles,since cucumber season should be starting soon. I have plenty of jam jars left but not a lot of larger ones. Thanks for the opportunity!
Those are lovely jars and I would love to be able to can without having to heat the lids first.
These jars are so pretty! I would likely end up using them for a festive jam or a pie filling.
I’m thinking pickles and stock. I assume they hold up to pressure canning well.
These are indeed beautiful jars. As for the cost, my grandfather used to say, “The memory of quality lingers, long after the price has been forgotten.”
Our garden is producing so much that I need to make some tomato sauce, pickled banana peppers and jalapeños!
Very intrigued by the lids. The 750 ml size would be great for my tomatillo enchilada sauce or pasta sauce.
French jars require a French preserve! A classic strawberry, rich raspberry or blackberry sounds lovely.
Pickles and pie fillings! Yum!
I plan to try my hand at pumpkin butter this year.
to can all the tomatoes in my garden.
Peaches! Cherries! Pickles!
Jams and pickles…and maybe store kimchi!
Strawberry jam! These jars are beautiful, I have never seen that style of lid before.
pickles – dill and some spicy!
Such a thoughtful review…I’m interested in checking out these jars now!
I’m making a lot of stuff – jam, tomato sauce, salsa, pickles – they would be great for all of these things. So pretty!
Lovely jars. I think I’d use them for some of the bigger jam batches I make for my parents.
Stone fruit preserves!
Always tomatoes and peaches
Lovely jars. Can always use good quality ones.
My tomato plants are huge thus year so I am hoping for lots to use fir pizza sauce. These jars would lovely
These are gorgeous and would make for special jam gifting.
I would use them for some (mostly) pickled things from the garden like okra!
I would make tomato sauce.
I make zucchini/pepper/onion pickles every summer and these would house those nicely 🙂
Those look cute! Ilike the shapes and sizes!
I’m planning to make some plum jam. It’ll be my first time.
I think I would use these for pickles.
I would fill them with some lovey strawberry rhubarb jam and maybe some peach butter!
I was planning to make ketchup for Christmas gifts, these jars would be perfect!
These are beautiful! They’d be great for gifting, as I usually mail a jar of something canned to my relatives out of state. The sturdiness would make me feel a lot better about them arriving safely.
tomatoes, pickles, peaches OH MY
These are gorgeous and would be perfect for veggies!!!
I would be ecstatic to receive these!
Love the looks of the lids! I would use them for my favorite canning exercise: peach amaretto jam.
The lid set up is a neat idea. I would use these for all of the beautiful jams I am making with the seasonal fruit in Oregon!
I would love to try these to can my tomatoes!
Beautiful jars! I would really love to try out those lids! This is exactly what I was after when I asked about Canadian products. 😉
Today? Store the sand and shells I picked up on vacation, with a couple of them. Tomorrow? Who knows?
I would love to have this set for my first summer of preserving both elder flowers and elderberry sauces and syrups. I have spent years grooming a wild elderberry grove in my yard. Now I’m ready to reap the benefits.
These sound fantastic. Coincidentally, just yesterday we had two extra pints of cherries out of a bunch from Costco that we hadn’t eaten yet. I suggested canning them so we didn’t feel obligated to gobble more than we wanted to. Mom and I were SHOCKED when the jar bottom exploded off the jar when we immersed it in the water bath. It was filled with cold packed cherries with hot juice over top (cherries at room temp). This has NEVER happened before. Obviously Ball has switched to the less stable silica just like Pyrex has (we had a 4c measuring cup explode last year). It’s amazing to me that a JAR company would be so stupid.
I’d be thrilled to use these to can our corn-peach salsa we still need to put up this year. What a joy these jars must be to use. They’re on my list to buy in bulk if I win the lottery, lol. (I’m guessing shipping them to Canada in bulk will be expensive, lol) Thanks for the giveaway, your site is a joy to visit.
So many options, but in the summer, always have one filled with iced tea or lemonade in the fridge would be perfect. They’re lovely!
It looks like a good peach year, so I’d use them for peach salsa, peach bourbon marmalade, or peach bbq sauce!
Cherry jam for sure.
I’m thinking of a mixed fruit jam, I just got a bunch of amazing berries and I am going to be adventurous and mix them up!
I’d make some apricot jam!
Just.adorable jars! I could can so much with those! Oh my!
Ooh these are so pretty! I’d definitely use them for the “guest” jam that comes out when we have company. 🙂
Have half bushel South Carolina peaches and 10 pounds of blueberries to process. Many options are available spiced peaches, blueberry jam just to name a few.
I would hole on to them until January and make some beautiful orange marmalade with organic oranges from my friend’s tree. It would look gorgeous in these jars.
These jars are lovely. I would use them for pickling and for jams.
I would love to use them for canning salsas.
These would be great for homemade applesauce!
Love these jars! I use them for chili peppers
Oooh, these are so pretty… and smart sounding! I’m looking forward to making tomato sauce (my first attempt) later this summer, once Massachusetts gets plentiful tomatoes.
What would I use them for? One word. Peaches. All day, everyday, peaches. Jam, jelly, in syrup. The only thing I want when summer is over.
I love Le Parfait. I have a number of their Super Jars, which I have been collecting over a number of years. These jars sound fabulous, although like another commenter, getting them in Canada is probably cost prohibitive.
Love these jars. I’d use them for jams and relishes.
I would love to use the jars for my first jam making attempt!
These are great looking jars. Would love them for corn relish or apple sauce.
Bread and butter pickles would be delightfully delicious in these jars! I’d love to own a few.
Don’t know where to begin next …that is when it comes to canning. On Saturday (July 15) i will be harvesting fresh peaches. So Monday I will be doing peaches (smile). I can hardly wait to start my sauces. They would look very nice in these new jars. Let the fun begin.
These look fun and lovely!
having just dealt with failed seals, i love these lids (and jars)! would be perfect for canning salsa batches. 🙂
Just finished canning pickled turnips and will be pickling okra next. The size of these jars sounds better for jam.
I would make Strawberry or Blueberry jam
I would use them for making my gooseberry jam, pickling and storage…thanks.
I would use these for Blueberry jam. Thanks!
I usually make some kind of jam or marmalade each summer, so these look like they’d be perfect for that!
I have tons of berries. I think I would make blackberry jam.
I’ve also had new jars explode recently. I’d love the 750ml size for canning peaches, as we never quite finish a quart in one sitting. Or maybe currants, as ours are red & gorgeously ripe right now.
What clever and lovely jars they are! I have never heard of them before and cant wait to add some into my life.
I have a big patch of tomato plants and I know I will be overrun in a months time. These jars will come in handy
These jars look gorgeous! I’ve never heard of them before and I’m always intrigued by new sources of jars and canning gear. I’ve got a great big batch of tomatoes ripening in my garden right now and I think some salsa would look terrific in some of these jars.
I’d use it for pizza sauce. We’re perfecting our pizza making skills on the grill, which is so much better than in the kitchen during the summer, and I’d love to make use of all the great tomatoes available now to enjoy all year round.
What beautiful jars! I would probably use this larger size for dilly beans.
Wow! Those are BEAUTIFUL jars 🙂
Beautiful jars! I would love to give them a try!
It’s getting close to time for gooseberry jam in my house, and maybe also some apricot butter.
My beloved apricot jam would look so nice in these. And we planted a ton of beans and cucs so dilly beans and pickles for sure!
I would love a good set of jars – with lids – to use as storage for various dry goods (beans, lentils, rice, etc)
Those jars are beautiful. I would love to can my mixed berry jam or orange marmalade in them.
I don’t do a lot of canning these days, but I would probably do peaches or ketchup!
Something with tomatoes!
Peaches from a local farm