7 Indian Fruit Preserves To Spruce Up That Bread Slice
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Whether you put it on a slice of bread or as a topping on ice creams and cakes—or even kheer for that matter—a stock of fruit preserves always comes in handy for a gourmet home cook. India has an abundance of homegrown fruits, from mangoes and strawberries to jamun and apricots—but these aren’t available in their fresh, naturally sweet or tart forms throughout the year. So, fruit preserves become the easiest way to get that flavour and unique taste of each fruit all year through. 

It is very important to first understand the difference between jams and preserves. A jam is made with mashed fruits and pectin, which is a natural compound that most fruits have in abundance. A jam is thick and easy to spread on bread, though they are most likely to be refined and devoid of any fruit pieces, skin or seeds. Preserves, on the other hand, are made with chopped or whole fruits (depending on the size of the product) mixed with a sugar syrup or jam. They might be more difficult to spread, but they do contain pieces of the actual fruit.  

Depending on your personal preferences, you can decide whether you want the ease of spreading offered by jams or the bite of fruit provided by preserves. But it is important to remember that compared to jellies and jams, preserves have more of the actual fruit in the final product. This is why instead of buying something labelled as “mixed fruit jam” you should go for individual preserves that hold the taste, benefits and spirit of each fruit. Here are some varieties that you should absolutely taste. 

Strawberry Preserve 

While strawberry jam is more easily available, it is better to go for the preserves in India. The reason behind this is simply that strawberries have a relatively short season in India—the Mahabaleshwar crop usually lasts from October to April-May. The naturally tart and sweet fruit can also be very expensive unless you live close to the source. So, strawberry preserves can give you the best taste of the fruit no matter where you live and what season it is. 

 ASIN ID - B07KM9Q1TT   

Jamun Preserve 

Known as the Java plum or Indian blackberry, jamun is an Indian fruit that is available in its ripest and juiciest forms during and after monsoon. Jamun season lasts for around four or five months, and the problem with eating it fresh is that you never know if the fruit will taste sweet or tart bordering on bitter. This is why going for a jamun preserve is a much sweeter and year-long experience. 

 ASIN ID - B07BHJCR46   

Apricot Preserve 

Golden and ripe apricots are grown in very few states of India, including Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. The prime season lasts between May and June, making the availability of fresh, juicy apricots a limited and expensive affair. This is why most people tend to buy dry apricots to get a taste of the fruit. We’re here to say that apricot preserves might be a better option since it tastes so much better than dried fruit. 


Mango Preserve 

From Alphonse to Malda, there are many varieties of mangoes that are grown across India and available during the summer months. However, not every season produces the same depth of taste in mango crops. This is the reason why stocking up on a mango preserve is not only a great idea for the autumn and fall months when we start missing mangoes, but also during seasons when the crop isn’t that great. A note here: Mango preserves tend to be jammy because the fruit mashes up too easily. 


Fig Preserve 

Available in only a few states of India between May and November, figs are a delicate fruit when ripe. The taste is mild and yet extraordinary, but when dried, the flavour is almost entirely lost. This is the reason why getting a fig preserve is a good idea, especially if there is no way you can access the ripe fruits at the peak of their season. While the preserve might taste sweeter than the actual fig fruit, it is better to have some than sticking to dried anjeer. 

 ASIN ID - B0B68L7FG6   

Peach Preserve 

Grown predominantly in North India, especially Punjab, Himachal and Uttarakhand, peach ripens between the months of April to May. Because its season is so short, accessing fresh, ripe and sweet peaches while they are in season can be difficult and expensive. So, a peach preserve that you can pair with bread, ice cream, cakes, etc throughout the year might suit your needs better. Peach preserves also counter the excessive tartness that the fruit can sometimes get. 


Cherry Preserve 

Like other fruits on this list, cherry is grown mostly in Jammu & Kashmir and has a very short season of one month—June. And yet, the demand for the fresh red fruit is so high throughout the year because we can’t imagine our cakes and desserts without them, making the fruit the best option to have. While cherry jams can be excessively sweet at times, cherry preserves keep the fruit whole—often with the stalk and pits and all—making it an investment worth its price. 

 ASIN ID - B0B513Y8M7