We're jammin' ―
To think that jammin' was a thing of the past;
And I hope this jam is gonna last.
Bob Marley sang those couplets. He probably wasn't thinking about fruit preserves when he penned them, but analyzing them in that context yields ― if you will ― a ripe, juicy discussion all the same. Because jam is a thing of the past, a foodstuff that became popular via necessity ― because jam, unlike, say, a kingly roast turkey leg, is “gonna last.” Middle Eastern countries, though likely not the “Babylon” of which Marley often sang, were responsible for creating the first fruit jams and jellies. Knights returning from the Crusades may have introduced preserves to European palates, and by the late Middle Ages, such products were, on the regular, getting smeared across the white-lead makeup-caked faces of ladies and lords.