I thought jam fans would appreciate if I shared some astonishing facts about jams in this chapter. Here are some international jam gossips!
A nice shop of 25 m2 in Paris must be jam lovers’ Mecca. It was planned by Noel Domingez, the famous French designer. This boutique, named La Chambre Aux Confitures, became my best store because of two facts. Firstly, jams are placed in modern, arched and bright space rather than in a traditional grandma styled spot.
There is no lovely tatter on the jars, there is no old-fashioned atmosphere. Secondly, ladies and gentlemen, no decorating items, no other products are sold – exclusively jams.
In contrast to La Chambre Aux Confitures, in a Romanian village it is the grandmother who makes the jam. However, her jams are easily distinguishable. Why are they so unique? Two factors brought the old lady worldwide fame.
Primarily, she packed her products in particular oak boxes. Does not it seem a big deal? It surely does not, but she figured out how to replace the chopped trees: anyone who buys a jar in this decoration, must additionally pay the price of five oaks. For instance, if you purchase 800 grams of jam, you will spend 365 Euros. What a brilliant idea!
And, to add a further twist to the story, one of Gerda Gherghiceanu’s customers is Prince Charles. How could it be possible? Well, the British prince’s property in Romania is next to Gerda Gherghiceanu’s land. She is good at marketing, is not she?
Making jam has made the Scottish Fraser Doherty millionaire. He set up his business at the age of 14, using his grandma’s recipe, and, with lot of diligence and a pinch of marketing, he has built a prosperous jam empire called Superjam.
As for Fraser it was really important to channel back a part of his incomes to the society, he started organizing charitable tea afternoons in retirement homes to cheer the old patients up with cakes made of his jams. His example proved that young millionaires do not only come from the Silicon Valley.
Here is another British news: the family-owned Duerr jam factory, opened in 1881, has launched the most expensive jam speciality of the world. You can buy 1 kg of orange marmalade for 5 000 £. What astonishing figures! However, the ingredients are quite unconventional indeed. It is rather obvious that the marmalade is sold in crystal jars. Furthermore, 62-year-old Dalmore Whiskey, a bottle of which costs 32 000 £, Champagne Pol Roger, and, of course, gold pigments have been added to the orange. Very fascinating.
Nevertheless, another candidate competes for ‘World’s most special jam’ title. It was auctioned at public sale: despite the upset price had been 99 cent, the final offer for one jar was 1 000 $. This jam is said to be particular for two things. On one hand, for its ingredients; apple, oregano from Cuba, spices of Thailand (e.g. yam), cricket, sugar and apple wine vinegar. On the other hand, for the purpose of the auctioning: Dos Equis, the seller, donated the income to save northern hairy-nosed wombats. These animals are on the brink of extinction; according to the statistics, its current population size is approximately composed of 100-110 individuals, so they need some help indeed.
Last but not least, here is Christine Ferber, called the Queen of Confitures. The French lady is not famous only for her uncommon jams, but also for the fact that she has been the only woman ever to win Bocuse D’or cooking competition, the culinary equivalent of Oscar Awards. Needless to say, in jam category.