The Fork

The Fork: Jam-a-lam-a-ding-dong

We’re just talkin’ ‘bout jam (and maybe jelly)

As we stood in our kitchen the other night, bathed in the pale florescence from within, a thought occurred to us: What the hell is the difference between jam and jelly, and why had we been standing there for, like, 25 minutes contemplating that?

We’d imagine this is about the time that people who make jam at home start scoffing and wondering what our problem might be, but even so—we didn’t know the answer, and it vexed us. Certainly there are texture elements at play, and methodologies, too, but why on Earth does our fridge (and just about every other we’ve ever seen) have both jams and jellies? Why are most of them usually old? Why is there grape jelly, but not jam (as far as we know)? Why is strawberry jam the universal yet unspoken victor of the jam-off of life?

Well—and again, we’re sooooo sorry to those of you who already know—it turns out the difference between jam and jelly is just, like fruit bits, man. Jelly’s made with fruit juice and no bits, jam’s made mostly from the bits. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but...OK, so, like, jam is made from smushed fruit and other things, while jelly is pretty much made from strained juice. Does that clear it up? A little? Not much? Good. We should’ve known this stuff, though, because our mom got really into the jam game when we were young and practically begged us to get jammin’, but we were too obstinate and terrible to join her. We could still make jam with mom right now if we wanted, but we don’t so we won’t!

So then we wondered, “Can you make jelly at home?” and, “If you can make jelly at home, why haven’t we ever seen or heard about anyone doing that?” Clemson University says that you can, though heads up that link is full of sooooo much information. Making jelly, it would appear, is way more time consuming than jam. And anyway, have we just never heard about home jelly-ing because we’ve never explicitly asked someone, “Hey, bro, do you make jelly at home, or are you still all up on making tired-ass jams?” Maybe so.

It also turns out that despite the sugary nature of most jamz and jelliez, the pectin used in its making (pectin obviously being a soluble heteropolysaccharide, which we all know, of course) can apparently help stave off illnesses. Now, full disclaimer, our research led us to a corner of the internet that said pectin can prevent cancer, and though we’re not a doctor we have to believe that’s probably not super-true. Besides, when you look up how to make jam easily, all the first recipes that come up are like, “Get the fuck outta here, pectin!”

Anyway, many jamz are full of fiber, too, but this generally works better, we hear, if you seek out products with cane sugar instead of that high fructose corn nonsense. Something about how your body absorbs things but, as we’ve established, we’re no doctor.

Oh! And we also learned that jam preservation is so old that one of the first cookbooks known to exist (a Roman offering dating back to old as all get-out) has a recipe for jam in it, though we wouldn’t be shocked to learn that it was like, “Smasheth the fruit upon a rock with the shell of a turtle so hard in strength that it could kill a hundred Aeschyluses! Now eat the smashings!”

But back to the matter at hand, being jam v. jelly. We believe you can do it, dear readers, and while we might usually get in the kitchen to make our own damn jamn or we might hit up Corrales jamstress Heidi for her famous Raspberry Red Chile Jam, we’re also gonna link to a Masterclass jam that’s apparently pretty easy to make (only four steps; here’s that link right here) and leave you with a final tip: The best pee-bee-and-jay sammies are the ones with Concord grape jelly. We don’t make the rules, we just follow our tongue like some kind of jelly-crazed Toucan Sam. Now send us your jam recipes and tell us what you think about jam! And jelly!

Snack Corner

We were racking our brain trying to think of a cool snack to highlight when we figured why reinvent the wheel? Y’all ever had Cool Ranch Doritos? So good. So good, in fact, that we almost tried to find a Papa John’s to check out the company’s new Cool Ranch Papadia (which, as far as we can tell, is like a quesadilla encrusted with Cool Ranch stuff). Then we remembered that Papa John’s founder John Schnatter basically sucks.

Yeah. Jam.


-Seems Santa Fe-based bakery Dulce Capital has finally opened its Rio Rancho outpost. According to a recent Facebook post, the Turquoise Desert Taproom is now open.

-Also on Facebook, we learned Guadalupe Street bar/restaurant/venue Boxcar aims to open its new Plaza-adjacent space in June. This one’s been a long time coming, but the new spot (which formerly housed Blue Corn Café, which is now called Hidden Mountain and only exists on the Southside) is reportedly much bigger and the biz can take things like live music into account from the get-go. Cool!

-Consider this your final reminder that Mother’s Day is this week. Take mom someplace nice if you have a good relationship—but know that we don’t believe anyone owes their parent anything and we totally are on your side if you don’t wanna get into that stuff with mom. Check out a list of local happenings here.

-Also upcoming, Albuquerque Beer Week does its beer, uh, week starting May 25. In short, it’s a whole-ass week of beer with all kinds of beer and probably food trucks because there’s always food trucks at things like that.

-Last week we mentioned that Athletic Brewing Co. will now be the official non-alcoholic beer brand of Jet Blue, and reader Suzanne S. wrote us to say one of the partners of that company formerly worked for Santa Fe’s Second Street Brewery. We don’t have a name, though, so if anyone knows that person, can they give us a heads up? We love when local nerds go do big things.

-Railyard-based Altar Spirits is changing its names, folks, from Altar to As Above So Below as of May 16. Woah. Metaphysical, bro. Dang, how good was Lodge 49? So good. Anyway, SFR has been pretty down with company co-founder and distiller extraordinaire Caley Shoemaker, so know that these things are happening and get down.

-Santa Fe Spirits announced last week that its Colkegan Unsmoked Single Malt Whiskey will be available nationwide, though it’s a limited run. Did you ever see the Frasier where the employees of Café Nervosa have a new ordering system wherein they rhythmically announce the elements of an espresso drink—and Niles tries to order with amusing results? There’s a patter to how they speak that works when saying “Colkegan Unsmoked Single Malt Whiskey.” Just saying.

-In non-spirits news, Compound pastry chef Jessica Brewer announced last week she’ll be leaving the pastry game and moving on to other opportunities. We’re big fans of Brewer’s desserts and even went so far as to make a mini-documentary about her last year (see it here). Word is she’ll still be in The Compound’s kitchen for a couple more weeks, though, so maybe you should get over there or something.

Like so...


“I still think Pizzeria Espiritu should get a shout-out.”

Word to that.

More Tidbits

-Hats off to Odyssey Beerwerks in Arvada, Colorado, a business that, according to the most excellent Westword weekly paper, is a kid-free zone. Look, we like kids just fine, but why they gotta be all up in the beer zones? Like, we don’t wanna worry about your dumb kids when we’re being a beer snob, that’s all we’re saying. In fact, get your kids out of our face! “But my little Bitzie is special!” Nope. Naw. Game over, bud. Send the kids where we’re not getting trashed and throwing darts and screaming F-word after F-word. #BitzieSucks

-We know there’s a subset of humans whose entire personalities are based on liking Target and Chick-fil-A and Starbucks, but bad news on that front, uninteresting people—the National Labor Review Board says that Starbucks illegally fired a Chicago barista for union organizing. Yeah, you can’t do that.

-Oh, good, Velveeta made truffles that look like mac ‘n’ cheese shells. Chocolate and Velveeta, huh? That’s gonna be a no for us, dawg. A big old no.

-USA Today breaks down what health-conscious people might do in a fast food world, which is to say they’ve nailed down some possibly healthy options at fast food joints. We...ugh, we don’t actually care. Eat what you want (not counting Velveeta truffles).

For your viewing...what’s the opposite of pleasure? Agony?

A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

In the print edition of SFR this week, a couple of dorks eat waaaaaay too much at Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q.

Number of Letters Received


*People get mad about rice.

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)

“I don’t really like rice.”

*Cool, man. Super-rad addition to the convo.

Actually Helpful Tip(s)

“Buy a rice cooker!”

*We have one!

Jammed up like woah,

The Fork

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