Around the World in 5 Jams, Jellies, and Spreads
The world of condiments is a food lover’s dream. Things get even better when it comes to jams, jellies, and everything in between. In just one scoop, you can transform your brunch/lunch/sixth snack of the day, and it gives you a chance to savor multiple flavors at once. Love sweet and salty? Make a bourbon bacon jam. If you’re all about fruits, preserves let you hold on to them forever. (Well, more like two weeks.) You can also be fancy and make homemade fruit curd. But when you are looking for that extra something, look no further than jellies and jams from around the world.
There’s nothing better than expanding your condiment horizons. (Yes, you have condiment horizons even if you didn't know you did.) Exploring the jams and jellies of other countries is like a field trip for your taste buds. The best part is you don’t have to jet to another continent. Making jelly out of anything is surprisingly easy, so they work well as homemade gifts. Your friends and family will be so jelly of your skills.
Jamaica: Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly
Scotch bonnet peppers are the stars of Caribbean cuisine, lending a hotness that leaves jalapeños in the dust. Don’t believe me? Jalapeños are 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale, while Scotch bonnets are 150,000 to 325,000. They also make one heck of a fiery condiment. Scotch bonnet pepper jelly is sweet, spicy, and works as a glaze, dip, or spread. It can even be mixed with cream cheese. Yes, please.
Great Britain: Lemon Curd
British lemon curd is a rich and creamy preserve. It pairs well with scones or tarts, but it can also make your plain old toast super fancy. Since lemon curd is made with egg yolks, it doesn’t last as long as other spreads. You’ve got about two weeks once you open up a jar of this lemony goodness. If you don’t eat it all before then, at least.
Philippines: Calamansi Marmalade
Calamansi (or kalamansi) is a staple in the Philippines. It’s used like a lemon, but it’s actually a hybrid of kumquats and mandarin oranges. In America, it’s called calamondin and flourishes in Florida. As for calamnsi marmalade? It's a sweet spread that goes well with any bread. A tarter version can be made with green calamansi, or before it turns orange.
Japan: Ume Plum Jam
Ume plum jam is a beautiful and minimalist condiment. It’s made with nothing more than sugar and Japanese ume plums, yielding a dynamic sweet and sour flavor. It's typically served on toast or bagels. But thanks to its tartness, it can even top off meats like hamburgers and meatballs. BRB, drooling.
Morocco: Eggplant Jam
Jams and jellies usually use fruits—but who says veggies can’t get in on this jam action too? In Morocco, jam made with eggplant is a tasty essential. You can also find it in Lebanese and Turkish cuisine. Most eggplant jam recipes call for a mix of sweet and earthy ingredients; brown sugar, turmeric, cumin, and cloves are commonly used. This savory jam is amazing on everything from pita to chicken.