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Jams and Chutney: Week 36 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

For those of you lucky enough to have our own orchard, or community one, September doesn’t spell the end of summer but the start of jam and chutney season. The perfect time of year to enjoy the best of British bounty! For those of you who don’t have the luxury of growing your own try foraging blackberries or buy fruit & veg to preserve. You could even give your careful creations as Christmas presents this year

No wonder it is becoming increasingly popular for people to make jams and chutneys with all the wonderful fruit and veg available at this time of year.

Traditionally Chutneys are paired with cheese but can be a basic for any kitchen. There is an amazing wave of homemade creations that are being used as a base for all sorts of recipes. Roast lamb for example with a splash of exotic tomato and chilli chutney can take a basic tradition into something more exciting to spice up your summer roasts.

Fiery chutney/relish

Fiery chutney/relish

A few basic skills (normally available in most good cookbooks or online) will see you jarring up your preserved delights in no time and watching as your cupboards grown with interesting concoctions. Best of all, with a nice tag you can even give them to friends as a nifty Christmas present!

Jammy Facts
1. The origin of jam remains a matter of historical debate; however, jams have a rich history and are appreciated worldwide for their fragrance and fruity taste.

2. Jam-making probably began in the Middle-East where cane sugar grew naturally. The first known book of recipes, “Of Culinary Matters”, written by the Roman gastronome Marcus Gavius Apicius in the first century, includes recipes for jams.

3. It is believed that returning Crusaders first introduced jam to Europe; by the late Middle Ages, jam had become very popular. Jam-making in Europe can be traced back to the 16th century following the arrival of the Spanish in the West Indies who had been preserving fruits for generations.

4. Jams were a kingly delicacy and many a royal sweet tooth demanded an array of fruit flavours preserved with sugar. Chroniclers of more regal eras describe the magnificent feasts of Louis XIV, which always ended with fruit preserves served in silver dishes. Each delicacy served at Versailles was made with fruit from the king’s own gardens and glasshouses.

Real fresh ripe jamming strawberries

Real fresh ripe jamming strawberries

5. In Britain, jam originates from tudor times. The food historian Ann Wilson records that there was a wide range of jams available; for example, quince and medlar. There was also a highly prized Tudor preserve called a sucket, a cross between candied peel and jam.

If you’d still prefer to buy a wonderful jam or chutney from one of Britain’s brilliant producers then head on over to our MarketPlace here to find a whole host of brilliant products that you can buy online. Or for a local supplier search our local food map

For recipes click here, or if you have a favourite jam or chutney recipe, or any other recipe and would like the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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