It’s fair to say that jam has a rich history, likely to have originated in the Middle East where cane sugar grew naturally. Records see references to jam appearing in first century Rome in the earliest known Recipe book, and later enjoyed as a delicacy by royalty.
In Europe, jam-making can be traced back to the 16th century following the arrival of the Spanish in the West Indies, who had been preserving fruit for generations.
Many of the feasts held at the court of Louis XIV chronicle sweet preserves served in silver dishes as the finale dish. Indeed, each delicacy served at Versailles was produced from fruit grown in the king’s own gardens and glasshouses.
Today, jam is a staple at the breakfast table, a popular afternoon tea treat and widely used in baking.
Sales of jam-making equipment have boomed with a growing trend for ‘make at home’ and ‘back to basics crafting’ driven by tough economic times and recent TV programmes such as Kirsty’s Home Made Home. Even unlikely figures such as Kate Moss and the Duchess of Cambridge admit to have been bitten by the bug. Kate is said to have a great recipe for plum jam while the Duchess prefers to make the Queen’s favourite, strawberry.
For jam connoisseurs, it’s all about the quality and the taste. Whether made at home or bought in store, the comforting sweet flavours, deliciously fruity texture and taste continue to delight every generation.
With a huge choice of jams available to buy, from traditional heritage flavours to the exotic fusions of so-called ‘couture jam’, you don’t need to get the copper pans out yourself. Since jam is generally gluten free and suitable for vegetarians, even more of us can indulge in this sweet treat.
Why not visit your nearest farm shops, deli’s and farmer’s markets to discover your new favourite jam?
About the author
Cottage Delight is a family owned company established in 1974 when founder, Nigel Cope, first made his delicious tablet fudge and strawberry jam in his family kitchen.
From these humble beginnings, Nigel has inspired the development of a bestselling range of preserves, chutneys and table sauces from the Cottage Delight kitchens in the heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands.
Many of their award-winning products are still made to small batch methods with jams traditionally made in open copper pans. Strawberry Extra Jam is still hand poured to keep the strawberries whole.
Find your nearest independent stockist or buy online at www.cottagedelight.co.uk