Jam Color Spectrum

Sad little note: wordpress didn't let me link to the photo sources in the captions. alpineberry, Crunchy Catholic Momma, The Hungerstruck.

Noticed something new about myself, and I don't know exactly what brought the whole conclusion together, although I do know what the catalyst was.

I was happily chewing on a slice of my daughter's bread, which was slathered in soft butter and a thick layer of apricot jam. Unable to contain myself, I exclaimed "Wow! I sure love apricot jam!" (And yes, I sounded as if I were trapped in a 50s sitcom.) My wife laughed and said "I know!" She knows, does she? And then I realized that for the past several years most of the jams in our pantry have been peach and apricot, my favorites! She just made it happen, asi no mas! Good wifeing that. Excellent, really, Sweet quiet competence and consideration is what I'm talking about.

I got to thinking about jams. The strawberry jam wifey has been known to make. The blackberry and boysenberry jams my in-laws bring back from Montana and put in our Christmas stockings. And all that peach and apricot! And it was then that I realized the following.

[caption id="attachment_9033" align="aligncenter" width="280" caption="Apricot jam...pass the toast! (alpineberry)"][/caption]

I love all orange-colored jams. I love apricot. I love peach. I love mango. I love peach-mango. I love guava (and yes, the Smucker's version is orange). I love pinapple and apricot-pineapple and marmalade and peach-mango-habanero.

I like well enough some of the darker jams. The ones of darker hue but livelier shades: blueberry, Concord grape, strawberry.

But there are a few jams that trouble me. Jams that I had always steered clear of, subconsciously, not even admitting to myself until a few years ago that I don't like raspberry jam. That's the worst of the lot, but I also avoid blackberry and boysenberry as well.

[caption id="attachment_9034" align="aligncenter" width="280" caption="I do not like blackberry jams. I do not like them, Sam I Am. (Crunchy Catholic Momma)"][/caption]

I have decided that the color of the fruit and jam must reflect the liveliness of the flavor. And I'm sticking to that, like a blackberry seed sticks to that little space between your teeth. The brighter the color, the brighter the zing, the more fun it is to mix with sugar.

And so I am surprised to discover my preference for Mediterranean and tropical flavors carries over even into jam, the very concept of which I didn't get excited about until we moved from Brazil to Canada in my youth and I discovered the glories of the blueberry. This personal revelation (which I know you care deeply about) regarding flavor palettes was brought about by a realization concerning color palettes: "Huh, my favorite jams are all orange-colored."

Can anything redeem the rich, dull, heavy jams of the frozen north? Yea, verily. The same way sour milk and bitter greens redeem the general cuisine. Bring forth the sour cherry jam and the currant preserves!

[caption id="attachment_9035" align="aligncenter" width="281" caption="Let bitterness redeem these sweet times! (The HungerStruck)"][/caption]


  1. My favorites are raspberry, blackberry and strawberry. =)This is why we are married, love. Balance. I am especially not fond of marmalade and apricot.=) I love peach though.

  2. Hm...I suddenly understand a lot more about our marriage. I'll do blackberry jam if there's plenty of butter. And thanks for always having apricot jam around.


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