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Food Preservation Exhibit & Judging Information

All Food Preservation Entries must be received at the Swain County Cooperative Extension office between Monday, August 12 and Tuesday, August, 13. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All entries must be received during this time. No exceptions.

Food Preservation entries will be judged before Saturday, August 17, 2019, and will be displayed with the winning ribbons at the Swain County Fair.

Food Preservation entries can be picked up after the Swain County Fair at the Swain County Cooperative Extension on Monday, August 19 – Wednesday August 21. Any food preservation items not picked up during this time will be disposed of.

Awards and Judging:
First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in all classes. Entries must be the work of the exhibitor. Exhibitors are allowed more than one entry per class.

Entrant Eligibility

  • Eligible entries must be preserved in the same brand of jar and lid:
    Ball® Jar sealed with Ball® Lid & Band specifically designed for home canning,
    or Kerr™ Jar sealed with a Kerr™ Lid & Band specifically designed for home canning.
  • Entries must be labeled with the product name, date of preparation, processing method, and processing time (and pounds of pressure if pressure-canned). Also, include whether the food was hot or raw packed. The entry should be accompanied by the recipe used.
  • All preserved foods must be prepared within a one-year (1 year) period prior to the judging.
  • Unsealed products will not be judged.
  • The food preservation categories are:
    Class A – Canned Fruit
    Class B – Canned Vegetables
    Class C – Preserves
    Class D – Jams, Butters, Conserves, Marmalades
    Class E – Jelly

Canned goods MUST have a LABEL on the jar which states the processing method (pressure canning/boiling water bath canner) and processing time. The recommendations in the current USDA COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOME CANNING and SO EASY TO PRESERVE will be the judging standard. NOTE: The Ball Book of Canning and Preserving recommendations are not included in fair judging.

Standard canning jars, practical size, clear class, no novelty jars. NO FABRIC “BONNETS” ON LIDS.

  • CLASS A – CANNED FRUITS
    (Standard Pint or Quart Jars)

    • SCORE CARD:
      25 points – Appearance
      60 points – Uniformity: Ripeness, appropriate size, texture flavor & pack arrangement
      15 points – Container:  Appropriate size, neatness, label
      TOTAL: 100 Points
    • EXPLANATION OF SCORE CARD:
      Color: That of natural fruit.
      Clearness: Syrup or liquid clear and free of seeds, etc.
      Texture: Tender, yet not overcooked.
      Ripeness: Uniform, well-ripened products, free of defects.
      Appropriate Size: Graded sized fruits, uniform size, and shape.
      Pack: Arrangement with reference to symmetry and best use of jar space. Attractiveness of pack should be considered but no time-wasting fancy packs.
      Container: Standard canning jars, practical size, clear glass, no novelty jars. No fabric “bonnets” on jars.
    • CLASS A – CANNED FRUITS
      (Standard Pint or Quart Jars)
      2001  Apples, Sliced
      2002  Applesauce
      2006  Peaches
      2009  Pie Filling
      2010  Other Canned Fruits
  • CLASS B – CANNED VEGETABLES
    (Standard Pint or Quart Jars)

    • SCORE CARD:
      25 points – Appearance: Color and Clearness of Liquid
      60 points – Uniformity: Ripeness, appropriate size, texture flavor & pack arrangement
      15 points – Container: Appropriate size, neatness, label
      TOTAL: 100 points 
    • EXPLANATION OF SCORE CARD:
      Color: That of natural vegetables.
      Clearness: Liquid clear and free of seeds, etc.
      Texture: Tender, yet no overcooked. Only young and tender vegetables should be canned.
      Ripeness: Uniform, well-ripened products, free of defects
      Appropriate Size: Graded sized vegetables, uniform in size and shape.
      Pack: Arrangement with reference to symmetry and best use of jar space. Attractiveness of pack should be considered but no time-wasting fancy packs.
      Container: Standard canning jars, practical size, clear glass, no novelty jars. No fabric “bonnets” on jars.
    • CLASS B – CANNED VEGETABLES
      (Standard Pint or Quart Jars)
      2016 Beans, Cornfield
      2017 Beans, Green
      2030 Tomatoes, Whole
      2031 Tomatoes, Cut
      2033 Other Canned Vegetables
  • CLASS C – PRESERVES
    • SCORE CARD:
      FRUIT: 40 points

      • 10 points – Shape
        15 points – Clearness & Color
        10 points – Texture
        5 points – Pack
    • SYRUP: 45 points
      • 10 points – Clearness & Color
        15 points – Flavor
        10 points – Consistency
        10 points – Proportion of Juice
    • CONTAINER: 15 points
    • TOTAL: 100 points
    • EXPLANATION OF SCORE CARD:
      Shape: Original shape as nearly as possible.
      Clearness & Color: Clean; some fruits transparent; not too dark.
      Texture: Tender, but firm and plump.
      Pack: Clear juice, not too dark.
      Proportion of Juice: One-third juice; two-thirds fruit.
      Seal: Preserved should be sealed in a jar – no paraffin.
    • CLASS C – PRESERVES
      (Standard half-pint or pint jars)
      2045 Peach
      2046 Pear
      2049 Strawberry
      2052 Other Preserves
  • CLASS D – JAMS, BUTTERS, CONSERVES, MARMALADES
    • SCORECARD:
      25 points – Smoothness
      50 points – Consistency & Texture
      10 points – Color and Clearness
      15 points – Container, Neatness, Label
      TOTAL: 100 points
    • EXPLANATION OF SCORECARD:
      Jams are made from crushed fruits, usually small ones, and are cooked to a smooth, jelly-like consistency. Butters usually have spices added. Conserves and marmalades usually have citrus fruits, nuts and raisins added. These should be sealed; no paraffin.
    • CLASS D – JAMS, BUTTERS, CONSERVES, MARMALADES
      (Standard half-pint or pint jars)
      2060 Apple Butter
      2061 Blackberry Jam
      2062 Blueberry Jam
      2063 Grape Jam
      2065 Pear Jam
      2068 Pear Honey (Pineapple Added)
      2071 Strawberry Jam
      2074 Other Jams, Butters, Conserves, Marmalades
      2079 Peach Jam
  • CLASS E – JELLY
    • SCORECARD:
      50 points – General Appearance: (Color, Clearness, Lack of Crystals)
      35 points – Consistency
      15 points – Container and Label
      TOTAL: 100 points
    • EXPLANATION OF SCORECARD:
      Color: Pronounced, yet natural color.
      Clearness: Transparent and Sparkling.
      Crystals: Lack of – no sign of crystallization.
      Consistency: Tender; breaks with distinct cleavage; angles hold shape; should not be syrupy, sticky or tough.
      Container: Standard half-pint or pint jar; sealed.
    • CLASS E – JELLY
      (Standard half-pint or pint jars)
      2086 Blackberry
      2088 Grape
      2089 Peach
      2092 Strawberry
      2093 Blueberry
      2094 Other Jelly