May 24, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated May 24, 2021
The rainbow-colored and savory types of fruit spreads
Fruits win the heart of all people all the time, no matter what are they competing against. The fresh juicy and tasty produce is food for all times.
Unfortunately, virtually all types of fruits do not last long. Some deteriorate quickly once they are harvested; while others have short seasons. One of the ways to keep enjoying the sweetness of these fruits all year round is to transform them into jams.
Contrary to popular belief, jams are not the only thing made of fruits. There are other types of fruit spreads; these will be the focus of this article, along with the different types of fruit jams.
The history of fruit jams:
Whereas food preservation is usually thought of as having started as early as the beginning of civilizations since people must have discovered that certain types of food won’t last long unpreserved; the preservation of fruits by turning them into jams is traced back to the 4th century AD.
De Re Coquinaria which translates as "The Art of Cooking”, written by Marcus Gavius Apicius, was the first recorded cookbook ever. The book contains more than five hundred recipes among which are ones that include heating fruits and pressing them with honey.
Other records accredit the invention of jams to people in the Middle East. Since I have witnessed recipes as old as antiquity being cherished by Tunisians, I can relate to the former argument.
The history of fruit spreads is not as important, however, as the fact that they are one of the favorites worldwide. People, in some regions, have their own rites and celebrations that accompany the preparation of such preserves.
Later, the jam became very popular in Europe and started to be of the top favorite foods for all people alike. What started as a delicacy served after meals, turned into something that can be served any time and with a variety of dishes.
The second artifact to mention jams is the medical cookbook of French astrologer and physician Nostradamus. The latter’s “Treatise on Makeup and Jam” appeared in 1555. The book contained medical recipes and methods to prepare various kinds of jam.
Jam remained for a long time an exquisite luxury for the aristocracy and upper classes. Mass production of this mouthwatering product is said to owe much recognition to Napoleon Bonaparte. Concerned with the food supplies for his armies, Bonaparte encouraged people to come up with ideas to preserve food.
Nicholas Appertrealized that boiling food at high temperatures and sealing it in airtight containers was sufficient to do the job. Pasteurization was on the way.
Jams became popular worldwide step by step. Wherever it was introduced it won the hearts of all people. It was World War two, nonetheless, which unexpectedly popularized jam. Food shortage and rationing pushed people to use all available supplies and eliminate any potential for waste and deterioration. Hence, the biggest amounts of jams were preserved.
Different types of jam
Jam, a word that is said to originally refer to the act of processing fruits to yield the paste we call jam, is in fact an umbrella term for several types of sweet pastes. Jam is made up of crushed or mashed fruits or even vegetables; sugar is always part and parcel of each recipe, whereas adding pectin is entirely up to you. Pectin is a natural carbohydrate found in many, but not all, fruits and vegetables. When combined with sugar and acid, it yields a thick texture. If you want a thicker texture for your jam then you can add a teaspoon of pectin and cook longer.
There are different types of jam; among them is the following list:
· Strawberry jam
· small-batch loquat jam
· rosewater raspberry jam
· wild plum jam
· rhubarb jam with orange and ginger
· carrot jam
· pomegranate cranberry jam
· cherry-vanilla jam
· strawberry watermelon jam
· Blackberry jam
· Fresh fig and dried fig jam
The list can go on and on since new flavors are invented and new preferences emerge.
Types of fruit spreads
Jellies, preserves, compotes, chutney, and marmalade, these names sound familiar, but are they as famous as jams? One of the trickiest things about cooking and pantry stock is that, at times, we get confused with labels. Well, jam is the simplest, easiest, and oldest known form of fruit spreads. However, there is more to this unique rainbow-colored world.
Jelly is much like jams. They are both based on cooking fruits with sugar, but the sole difference is that jelly goes through extra processing. Once cooked, jelly is poured into a jelly bag and left to drain. The juice is to be cooked again with the addition of pectin. The end product will contain no fruit chunks.
Preserves, on the other hand, are the most distinguished product from jams. Preserves are made of sliced fruits which are in turn drenched in syrup.
Conserves are much like preserves. The only exception is that they are made of several types of fruits and can also include nuts and spices. The flavor is truly unique and depends on the ingredients you use, but each recipe would definitely be worth trying.
One savory item among the types of fruit spreads is marmalades. These are made of citrus fruits. The juice of citruses such as lemons, oranges, or limes is cooked into a gel. Once ready, west of citrus fruits are to be suspended in this gel.
Chutney is similar to conserves, but it is usually prepared with vinegar. These are some of the most famous types of fruit spreads and preserves. Other types do exist, some of which are salty and hot products.
You can try all of these at home and enjoy the benefits of jam and fruit spreads. The one thing to highlight among the benefits of jam is that you get to reap the benefits of fruits all year round. You are no longer limited by the availability of fruits and their seasons.