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British Food Journal Volume 33 Issue 3 1931

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 March 1931



The manifesto of the Jam Section of the Food Manufacturers' Federation which was issued to the trade and to the public in October is a document which has been subjected to much unfavourable criticism by various persons for various reasons. In our opinion it fully deserves the censure it has received. It need hardly be pointed out that jam of some kind is eaten by everybody. The annual production in this country is enormous. As a combined food and stimulant for young children jam is probably unrivalled; indeed, we cannot imagine a substitute for it. “Jam is a ready means of providing carbohydrates, and children require much carbohydrate in proportion to their size.” All this, however, assumes that jam is really what it claims to be, namely, a preparation of the fresh fruit that gives the name to the jam and sugar only. This, we take it, is the view of the ordinary man. If we turn to dictionaries we find this definition or something very like it in all the dictionaries that have been published during the last one hundred and seventy‐five years. The dictionaries of the 17th century seem not to define the word; its meaning, however, was well understood. Johnson, 1755, defines the word jam as “a conserve of fruit boiled with sugar and water”—by sugar of course meaning cane sugar. All the modern standard dictionaries speak to the same effect. Murray's Dictionary has “A conserve of fruit prepared by boiling it with sugar to a pulp.” The Encyclopædic Dictionary and Wright's Universal Pronouncing Dictionary have the same. The Century Dictionary says jam is “A conserve of fruit prepared by boiling them to a pulp in water with sugar.” Webster that it is “A thick preserve made of fruit boiled with sugar and water.” Funk and Wagnall's New Standard Dictionary, “A conserve of fruit prepared by thorough cooking and stewing with sugar, reducing it to a pulp.” It is unnecessary to give further quotations; they are all to the same effect and show what the purchaser has in his mind when he asks for a pot of jam at a shop.


(1931), "British Food Journal Volume 33 Issue 3 1931", British Food Journal, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 21-30.




Copyright © 1931, MCB UP Limited

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