How Jams, Jellies, and Preserves Feed the Farm-to-Table Movement

The farm-to-table movement is an offshoot of the hippie movement in the 60s and 70s. The now global phenomenon brings responsibly grown fresh food directly from local farmers to dinner tables.
Sourcing produce from further afield means it is often produced using chemicals, picked too early, and frozen for transport. Instead, the field-to-fork movement embraces locally grown food collected or delivered daily from its origin. Food is fresher, more flavorful, and nutritious, reducing carbon footprints and rewarding and crediting community farmers economically.
Also, chefs and home cooks need not disguise the food, allowing natural flavors and aromas to shine. These less-processed options with transparent pedigrees appeal to the modern consumer looking for healthier, more eco-friendly ingredients and fewer additives. Among these farm-to-table products are delicious jams, jellies, and preserves.
What Makes Jams, Jellies, and Preserves Ideal for Farm-to-Table Use?
Beyond supporting the local economy and farmers, choosing locally bottled jam, jellies, and preserves offers various benefits. These advantages include freshly harvested produce picked when perfectly ripe, jam-packed with natural fruit, avoiding unnatural preservation processes, and fewer unhealthy ingredients.
How Did Jams, Jellies, and Preserves Come About?
The history of these condiments goes back to the origins of food preservation. Without fridges and preservatives, paleolithic (Stone Age) people relied on using natural areas of snow and ice, drying produce by smoking, compression, or sunshine.
Later, from 3200 BCE to 600 BCE, salt was used for preservation, prompting the proliferation of salt roads (trade routes). Honey also preserved fruits, with figs and dates in syrup among the earliest “sweets.” The Ancient Greeks packed quince mixed with honey into jars, while the Romans cooked the mixture before bottling. Later still, Napoleon Bonaparte accelerated this custom by demanding preserved food for his armies, and canning was born.
How Are Jams, Jellies, and Preserves Made?
Farm-to-table products are usually handmade in small batches. Producers wash whole fruits after harvesting and combine the required puree or fruit pieces with granulated sugar and lemon juice. The mixture is then cooked until the sugar dissolves and the natural fruit pectin starts to gel. For jelly, makers would strain the juice before cooking and add gelatine.
Once reduced, the mixture is transferred to large bowls, refrigerated overnight, and then reheated to 220 degrees. The jam, jelly, or preserve is then ladled into jars, well-sealed and labeled.
What’s the Difference Between Jams, Jellies, and Preserves?
All contain fruit and sugar and are cooked down until thickened, the main difference being the amount of fruit used and the recipe. Honey, herbs such as rosemary or mint, spices such as cinnamon, and alcohols such as brandy or gin add interest and depth to flavor profiles.
Jelly is the smoothest version, with the fruit juice mixture strained to remove seeds and pieces of fruit. Unlike jams and preserves, it is firm, gelatin-like, and transparent. The classic jelly is made from grapes but can also contain strawberries, apples, or mint for meat.
In contrast, jam incorporates pureed or chopped fruit pieces, resulting in a looser substance with more texture than a jelly. While many jams are sweet, such as apricot, cherry, or strawberry, others are savory and made with spices and vinegar, such as chutney.
Fruit preserves are very similar to jam, only thicker and with larger chunks of fruit or whole pieces. An example of a preserve is orange marmalade, made using the fruit pulp and the rind.
Field to fork means fresh, organic, and natural. So, for creating appealing farm-fresh jams, jellies and preserves as healthy as the fruit on the tree, use Advanced Biotech’s 100% natural, organic, and documented taste and aroma molecules.
Elevate Your Sweet or Savory Condiments With Advanced Ingredients
Advanced Biotech offers pure, EU-certified, and responsibly sourced and produced Ingredients. Our portfolio includes natural pyrazines, thiazoles, distillates, aromatics, and other natural extracts. Take your jams, jellies, and preserves to the next level. Please contact us for more information.