Peach Preserves – Historical Context
Before jelly, jam, or even marmalade existed, there were preserves. The earliest European version of preserves was painstakingly created by mixing fruit pulp with honey and allowing the mixture to dry in the sun. This viscous substance was more similar in texture to a jellied candy then the preserves that we enjoy today.
Mary Randolph’s procedures for preserving clingstone peaches
This decadent early version of preserves was prized by the upper echelons of society, and many a royal feast ended with the consumption of “spoon sweets”, in which every guest received a spoon filled with fruit preserves as a post-meal delicacy meant to showcase the wealth of the host.
Sugar, one of the main ingredients in preserves, rendered them far too costly and precious to spread liberally on everyday bread. So only when the price of sugar dropped in the early 19th century did preserves began the slow transition from status symbol to the breakfast staple, which is today enjoyed by many around the world.
Connelly, Andy. “The Science and Magic of Jam-Making.” The Guardian. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2013/oct/03/science-magic-jam-making>.