Why do people like fruit jam so much? Does it taste good? Does it make their body healthier? Fruit jam is loaded with sugar, corn syrup, and HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup), and other stuff we cannot even pronounce right. All fruit jams are not made the same. Not all fruit jams have the same exact amount of sugar, some do not contain corn syrup in them, nor do they all contain HFCS.
Higher quality fruit jam is not created with HFCS, most of them use real Pure Cane Sugar instead. Many high-quality fruit jams are GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) free, gluten free, carried fiber and less sugar than common fruit jams, jellies, and preserves.
Of course, there is the common sense thinking that everything in mediocrity is the best way to go. Fresh fruit is always the best choice for you but attempting to spread a whole pineapple across your piece of bread just is not the same as a good teaspoon of fresh fruit jam.
Russian Fruit Jam
Russian whole fruit jam, yummy varenye, is a traditional whole-fruit preserve that is very popular in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia and Ukraine. While some people may call it to fruit jam, it is actually very different from the conventional fruit jam in the West.
Varenye is essentially made of berries or other fruits cooked with sugar. All the other ingredients are soaked with syrup except the fruits. The fruits are not macerated and therefore, they remain in their original shape. Varenye is more liquid than the conventional fruit jam. It is usually used as a topping for Russian crepes and pancakes, sweetener for Russian tea, and even a filling for Russian dumplings, vareniki.
Varenye is an old Russian word which means ‘a boiled treat’. It is considered a seasonal product which means Russian people produce it at the end of summer until mid-autumn when they gather berries and other fruits in and around their dachas. After making varenye, Russian people usually save it until winter. The most popular kinds of varenye are made from blackcurrant, raspberry, strawberry, chokeberry, cherry, plums, apricots, and apples but some of them also use zucchinis and carrots.
Varenye Makes the Most Romantic Gift
If you are a man who wants to buy a gift to a lovely Russian woman on some special day, do not go for the common stuff such as flowers or sweets. In Russia, you can find these two gifts inside a single jar. There is a varenye which is made of rose petals and it is one of the best gifts for a Russian woman.
It is considered the most romantic dish of Russian foods. Unluckily, it is not easy to find rose petals varenye because most of the supermarkets in Russia do not sell it. However, if you strongly desire to afford it, there is another alternative. In Russia, there is the retail platform called “Azbuka Vkusa” which means “ABC-book of Taste”. It is a very expensive supermarket but your chance to find rose petals varenye there is big.
Varenye as Russian Cultural Pride
In Russia, there is a traditional practice where housewives make varenye every summer. The season of preservation starts in June when the first strawberry grows up and finishes in autumn which falls in October with the last apples.
Boiling these fruits to produce fruit jams is a fun activity for Russian children. While boiling, the skin will appear on the surface and it should be disposed of. This skin is like the desired trophy for the children. For many Russian people, one of the best childhood memories is linked with these skins while making varenye.
Varenye has become an important part of the Russian’s lifestyle. They often eat varenye with Russian tea. However, note that not every beverage is good. For example, if you try to enjoy varenye along with a cup of coffee, then other people will think you are a quirky person. Varenye is also popular as a topping for syrniki and blini. You can also easily find small pies with varenye as a filling all across Russia. These pies are everywhere in the supermarket in Russia.
Russian people can make varenye from almost any edible ingredient. However, berry sorts are the most common ingredients such as strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. The fruit sorts are the second most common such as apple, plum, apricot, peach, and pear. The vegetable sorts are rare such as squash, carrot, and pumpkin. Even there are some other sorts that may seem unusual to foreigners, for example, an orange peel and a watermelon peel. Do not get it wrong. An orange peel is actually very healthy and delicious. A watermelon peel also makes a good ingredient.
Varenye can also be made of different nuts such as walnut and pine cones though this type of varenye is even rarer than the vegetable one. There are also a few types made of mushrooms, onion, and dandelion. The only ingredient that cannot be used in varenye is meat and dairy products.
Raspberry varenye is the most popular and delicious kind of varenye in Russia. Russian people believe that Raspberry varenye is the best remedy for common cold diseases, and hundreds of years of experience have proven this fact.
Raspberry varenye is little different from other kinds of varenye. Other fruits should keep its shape. However, it is impossible for raspberry because of the shape and the structure of this berry. As a result, raspberry varenye contains small lumps mixed with the syrup.
Raspberry is considered an expensive fruit unlike other fruits, and therefore, the price for raspberry varenye is higher. So, do not be surprised by the price when going to a supermarket.
Written above is an extended knowledge on Russian whole fruit jam, yummy varenye. Hopefully, it will add something to your insight about Russian cuisine.