Preserving Fruit & Minds

The Medieval Period also saw jam and preserves grow in popularity thanks to the arrival of sugar cane on ships sent from abroad. Sugar helped absorb moisture from fruit which made it harder for bacteria, enzymes and mould to take effect. This resulted in sugar being used in preserves for soldiers and sailors who had to survive for long periods of time with rationed supplies. Fruit preserved in sugar also helped sailors avoid catching scurvy, which is a disease caused by lack of vitamin C. Another interesting fact is that quince jelly was presented to Joan of Arc in 1429, after she liberated Orleans from the English.