Preserving Fruit & Minds

Preserves have been around for centuries, with the earliest origins dating back to the Stone Age where humans would store fruit so it would last longer. Over the course of time, preserves have evolved to become a modern day staple, as they can last for months or years without spoiling and can be produced easily with just a few ingredients. Preserves have been crucial to early humans, as food often became scarce, so it needed to be stored and rationed for survival.

Preservation using honey or sugar was a popular method used by the Ancient Greeks so that fruit would last longer. Honey was especially useful because it contained very little moisture, so any food stored in honey would be protected from the harmful microbes produced when left in storage.

The first written recipes for jam were recorded in Rome during the 4th century AD by Marcus Gavius Apicius in the cookbook De Re Coquinaria (The Art of Cooking).

“The book contains over 500 recipes, many using Indian spices, as well as a recipe for soft fruit heated with honey. The mixture was then cooled and stored, to create one of the earliest recorded forms of jam”

-Freshways, 2021