The savory side of jams

Roasted tomato jam

For the past few years, home canning and preserving has been growing in popularity. As people master the basics like strawberry and raspberry jam, they look for new challenges. ABC News reports that increasingly, people are finding that outlet in savory jams. These semi-sweet concotions “occupy the space between chunky relishes made of pickled items and smoother spreads and purees” and offer loads of new flavor possibilities. They also help you make use of any extra produce from your garden. 

Marisa McClellan, creator of indexed blog Food in Jars and author of Preserving by the Pint, is always “looking at ways to open people’s eyes to the different opportunities in preserve making.” Some of her savory jams include apricot rosemary jam and tomato jam. For the latter, she might serve it “with roasted sweet potato rounds or whirr it in the food processor with cream cheese for dip. A dollop of caramelized shallot jam livens up a grain bowl, she says, and a ramekin of peach-Sriracha jam makes a great dipping sauce.”

Naturally, another popular ingredient in savory jams is bacon. Bacon jam surprises the taste buds, because people aren’t expecting the sweet punch with the salty and savory flavors. As Chicago chef Gregory Ellis notes, “It pleases everyone and they like it after they try it.” He uses it in his pork belly sandwich and on French toast. While bacon jam may be a novelty, other savory jams have been around for ages, like hot pepper jelly, a Southern U.S. staple.

Are you a fan of savory jams? If so, which is your favorite?

Photo of Roasted tomato jam from indexed blog Food52 and the EYB Library

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  • hillsboroks  on  July 26, 2014

    Last year I tried a nectarine basil jam that was delicious. I think savory jams are the bridge between jams and chutneys.

  • ellabee  on  July 26, 2014

    A local grower makes jalapeño jelly that is just addictive, particularly with corn in any form: cornbread, muffins, polenta, tortillas…

  • Foodycat  on  July 27, 2014

    I do love bacon jam! But my current favourite is a cherry chilli jam, which is great in Chinese pancake wraps instead of hoi sin or plum sauce.

  • Barb_N  on  July 27, 2014

    I made two versions of fig jam/chutney- one with black olives from Nigella's website and one with 'fiery' Indian spices. A new twist on my usual sweet fig jam.

  • Queezle_Sister  on  July 28, 2014

    I prepared Marisa's smoked paprika tomato jam last year, and it was the best jam I've ever made. Combined with an egg on toast, it was positively sublime. But bacon jam is one I've yet to try.

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