National Jam Day

Young child joyfully spreading jam on toast, wearing a playful apron, in a bright and sunny kitchen..
National jam day illustration

Anyone up for a toast...with jam of course? Welcome to the sweet, sweet history of National Jam Day! A day so delightfully delicious, you'll forget all about any existing dietary plans. Trust us, it all spreads out!

When is Jam Day?

It's national jam day on the 5th July.

A Brief History of National Jam Day

With 16 smearing mentions online, National Jam Day has certainly stirred up some sweetness on multiple occasions. The most popular was evidently on the 5th of July 2016, when fans everywhere braved sticky situations just to celebrate their favorite fruity delight.

There’s a saying that one can’t truly know a nation until one has spread its jam on their toast. Well, maybe not. But we see it like this - life is all about those little wild jams on top of your weekend pancakes or weekday toast.

Sweet Celebrations All Over The Web

From proudly flashing their homemade jars of strawberry preserves to showcasing toast slathered with exotic options like rhubarb or plum, people have gone to great lengths to celebrate this day. Blogs and articles with recipes, jam anecdotes, or toast tributes are all part of the internet's fondness for this gooey holiday.

So Why Jam?

Why not? Jam has always been a staple at the breakfast nook, the lunch sandwich, or the holiday ham, making it as versatile as a food product can be. Canning summer fruits for jams means getting to enjoy them with our loved ones all year round. Plus, the jam-making process is intriguing in itself - ripe fruits meet sugar, heat, and pectin in a pot, and voila, you have the queen of spreads!

History behind the term 'Jam'


The origin of the term 'jam'

The term 'jam' can be traced back to the year 1706. It originated from the word 'jagan' in the language of the Aboriginal Arawaks in the Caribbean. 'Jagan' referred to a mixture of fruits and sugar that was cooked together. This concoction was used both as a way to preserve fruits and as a spread for bread and pastries.

11th century

First recorded mention

The term 'jam' was first recorded in the 11th century in France. It derived from the Old French word 'jambon', meaning 'fruit preserve'. The word 'jambon' referred to a type of fruit preserve made from quinces.

2000 BC

Ancient Origins

The history of the term 'jam' can be traced back to ancient times. The ancient Egyptians were known to make preserves with honey and fruits, which were similar to what we now know as jam. These preserves were created as a way to preserve fruits and add flavor to their diet. The term 'jam' itself comes from the French word 'jambe', which means 'leg', because the fruit mixture used to be poured into leg-shaped containers.

17th Century

Jelly and Marmalade

In the 17th century, the term 'jam' started to be used more commonly to refer to fruit preserves. During this time, jelly and marmalade also gained popularity. Jelly refers to a clear fruit preserve made by straining the cooked fruit, while marmalade is made with citrus fruits and often includes the peel. These variations of fruit preserves helped to broaden the concept of jam and added more variety to the term.

17th century

Spreading to England

In the 17th century, the term 'jam' made its way into England. It was used to describe a sweet spread made from mashed fruits, sugar, and sometimes pectin. At this time, fruit preserves were considered a luxury item because the sugar needed to make them was expensive.

18th century

British influence on jam production

During the 18th century, the British played a significant role in the development and popularization of jam. They adopted the concept of making a sweet fruit preserve and brought it back to Europe from their colonies. The process of making jam involved boiling fruits with sugar to create a thick and spreadable consistency.

19th century

Industrialization and mass production

The advent of industrialization in the 19th century revolutionized jam production. With improved technology, mass production of jam became possible. This led to the availability of jam for the general population, not only the elite. Jams were produced in factories and shipped worldwide, becoming a staple pantry item in many households.

18th century

Commercial production

During the 18th century, the commercial production of jam began. With advances in sugar production and preservation techniques, jams became more affordable and accessible to a wider audience. This led to an increase in its popularity and consumption.

18th Century

Commercial Production

In the 18th century, jam production became more industrialized. James Robinson, a British grocer, is credited with being one of the first to mass-produce jam. He introduced the process of sealing jars with wax, which improved preservation. This innovation allowed for the widespread distribution and availability of jam to the public. The commercial production of jam marked a turning point in its popularity and accessibility.

19th century

Home canning revolution

In the 19th century, home canning became popular, allowing people to preserve their own fruits and create their own jams. This led to the proliferation of homemade jams and preserves, as well as the development of countless family recipes.

Early 20th century

Variety and commercialization

In the early 20th century, jam production witnessed a surge in variety and commercialization. Different flavors and combinations of fruits were introduced, catering to a wide range of preferences and tastes. The packaging of jam also became more standardized, with jars and labels prominently displaying the brand name and ingredients.

20th Century

Modernization and Flavors

Throughout the 20th century, jam production continued to evolve. Advancements in technology, such as improved canning and refrigeration, made mass production even more efficient. This led to the introduction of a wide variety of flavors and combinations, beyond the traditional fruit-based jams. Today, you can find jams made from not only fruits but also vegetables, herbs, spices, and even unconventional ingredients like bacon or jalapenos.

20th century

Industrial production and commercialization

In the 20th century, industrial production of jam took off. The development of mass production techniques and improved transportation allowed for widespread distribution of jams to markets around the world. This resulted in jam becoming a staple in many households.

21st century

Modern-day popularity and culinary uses

Jam continues to be a beloved addition to breakfast tables and desserts worldwide. In the 21st century, the culinary uses of jam have expanded beyond the traditional toast or scone accompaniment. It is now incorporated into various recipes, such as cakes, tarts, and even savory dishes, adding a burst of fruity flavor and sweetness.

Present Day

Jam in Pop Culture

In the present day, jam has become a staple in many cultures around the world. It is not only enjoyed as a spread on toast or pastries but also utilized in various recipes, from sweet to savory dishes. Jam-making has also become a popular hobby for many, with homemade jams gaining recognition for their unique flavors and quality. Additionally, the term 'jam' has extended beyond food, often used to describe an improvisational musical session where musicians come together to create spontaneous music.

Present day

Diverse flavors and global popularity

Today, jam comes in a wide variety of flavors, ranging from traditional fruit flavors to unique combinations with herbs and spices. It is enjoyed as a spread on toast, in pastries, and even as an ingredient in savory dishes. Jam has become a beloved and versatile condiment enjoyed by people of all ages and cultures.

Did you know?

Did you know that in the Middle Ages, jam was used as a medicinal substance, believed to maintain health and well-being? Sweets for your sweet health!


awareness food fun loved ones history foodies delight jam

First identified

27th March 2015

Most mentioned on

5th July 2016

Total mentions


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