By Laman Ismayilova
The end of spring is the perfect time to enjoy delicious jams.
From peaches, apricots, tomatoes to cherries, strawberries, and super-sweet raspberries, there are so many jams to choose from.
Azerbaijani jams never fail to satisfy a sweet tooth. Nothing compares with the intense flavor of jams made in the Land of Fire.
Azerbaijanis makethis mouth-watering sweet from almost anything from walnuts, pomegranates watermelon to even pumpkin and rose petals.
Some popular jams are made from plums, raspberries, mulberries, pears, peaches, melons, figs, strawberries and cherries. If you are a lover of all things sweet, then you are sure to love all of these delicious jams.
Each summer, Azerbaijani women buy large amounts of fruit and sugar in order to make a large supply of preserves for cold season.
The jam is served in along with the pot of tea. For the Azerbaijanis, serving tea at the beginning of a meal is considered to be a symbol of hospitality Tea is also spiced with cinnamon, cardamom leaves or ginger for adding extra flavor. It is also used as a filling for pies and added to cakes and pastries.
The country’s Gabala region attracts sweet lovers who are eager to taste delicious varieties of Azerbaijani jams or as it called here "murabba".
Gabala is a home of one of the most vibrant and exciting festivals.
Every year, jam producers from all over the country gather in Gabala to present hundreds of varieties of natural marmalades and jams at International Jam Festival.
In 2017, the festival set a unique record: more than 3,500 jams from 25 countries, including 45 cities and regions were presented at the festival. Moreover, Gabala was named the International Jam Capital 2017.
Each region was represented by eight cooks, and each team prepared eight kinds of jam. The festival participants have a chance to try different kinds of jam made of walnuts, pomegranates, cherries, watermelon, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, grapes and roses. In addition to jam, a variety of desserts and Azerbaijani dishes are offered during the festival.
There are also many health benefits provided by fruits jams. Therefore, it is not common to put a jam in the diet menu. Homemade fruit jam will be healthier than the canned jam.
Unlike butter or margarine, jams do not contribute to the cholesterol and fat content of your body and helps maintain a healthy weight.
At the same time, pectin, a substance contained in all fruits, gets modified during the heating process. The modified pectin can help reduce your chance of developing cancer. It also improves the health of hair, skin and finger nails, etc.
Moreover, fruit jam is very helpful in managing stress as it provides the energy to endure the stress.
If dessert is your favorite course, and you cannot resist delicious jams, then plan your trip to Azerbaijan.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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