Jam It: Why This Fruit Preserve Is More Than Just A Bread-Spread
Jam is truly versatile—and you have plenty of reasons to fall in love with it
A sweet delight, jams are a staple in households across the world. Add it to your yoghurt, or pour a dollop on your roti and paratha or use it to make delicious desserts, jam is more than just a bread-spread.
An article on Spectator Life traces the history of jams: “The first recipe for jam appears in the first known cookbook: De Re Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking) which dates from the 1st century AD. In its simplest form, it was soft fruit heated with sugar (or honey, in this case) and cooled, then stored.” Joan of Arc, it is believed, ate quince jam before going into battle as it filled her with courage.
Long before the era of refrigeration arrived, jams and jellies were a popular way of preserving fruits well beyond their storage life.
Know all about jams
Jams are made by crushing ripe fruit into pulp, then adding sugar and water and boiling it to reduce the liquid until it is a thick mixture. Once the syrupy mixture solidifies, it is ready to be stored in jars.
When it comes to jams, you are spoilt for choice. From jams made of seasonal fruits, such as mangoes, litchis, oranges to the ones that use a variety of fruits—think mixed fruit jam—to those that are made of perennial fruits like guava. Jams made of berries—strawberry, blueberry, raspberry—are a popular choice as well.
A versatile preserve
Besides slathering a generous amount of jam on your toast, you can also add it to crackers or fruit salads or mix it with your smoothie. Jams are, of course, an all-time favourite topping on pancakes and waffles.
Masterchefs will tell you peach or apricot jams can be used to glaze your chicken. You can also use jams in your dessert preparations as a pulpy alternative to sugar. In Indian homes, most of us would have, at some point, rolled our rotis and parathas with jam and had it as a quick breakfast while rushing to work.