My current Friday Favorite brings out the food nerd in me. I am fascinated by the art of canning and pickling fruits or veggies and Tart and Sweet is one of the best books I've seen on the topic. I highly recommend picking up Tart and Sweet if you're looking for the full education. Even if you're not interested in participating in such a project, perhaps it's time to learn about the differences between some of your topping favorites. Fruit spreads to be exact.
Join me in being a Friday food nerd and relish it....(or preserve and pickle it).
  • Preserves: Small whole fruits such as berries, or larger fruits in pieces such as peaches. Preserves are suspended in a soft jelly and often used with desserts or pastries.
  • Jam: A mixture of lightly softened fruit and sugar  is boiled long enough to thicken.
  • Marmalade: A bittersweet jam made from citrus and slices of citrus peel. Marmalade is cooked long enough to soften and is often used on scones or in baking.
  • Conserve: Chunkier jam that includes large pieces of fruit, dried fruit, nuts or occasionally coconut. A conserve can be used like a jam, but savory kinds can be used with meats.
  • Fruit butter: (My favorite is Apple Butter, seen in the photo above!) Made by cooking pureed fruit pulp until it becomes like an applesauce. It has lower sugar than a jam or jelly so it needs to cook for a longer time. It's wonderful on breads or as an oil replacement in baked goods.
  • Compote: I hear this all the time, but now I know. A compote is filled with chunks and cooked for a shorter amount of time. It's similar to a chunky syrup and can be served over desserts like yogurt or ice cream.
  • Syrups: Fruit and sugar is blended or macerated. Try it out in drinks!

Feel a little nerdier? Go utilize your know how and tell me what you've had.


Dietitian Nutritionist and cookbook author sharing flavor-forward recipes and simplified science-driven wellness.