Co-op jars of preserves have been processed or canned, and they can be stored on a pantry shelf for a year or longer. Once you open a jar, it should be refrigerated. However, when we open one of the little 4 ounce jars in my kitchen, it does sit out next to the toaster for a few days as it is used so quickly. Because of the sugar/acid ratio in our Co-op preserves, the thorough cooking of the product, and then the hot water canning process, these are true preserves. My grandmother, and perhaps yours too, had rows of jewel-like jars sitting on shelves in the basement, and her gooseberry jelly was a way to save the goodness of her summer garden through the winter. The Co-op is keeping the tradition of home preserving active, but adapting traditional recipes for our contemporary palates. We don’t want to eat lots of sugar, so we use the natural pectin in the fruits and reduce the sugar content by as much as 60%. That is why our preserves taste so much better; it is concentrated fruit, not flavored sugar.