When is jam not jam, even though it is made like jam, looks like jam and tastes like jam?
British jam makers have been up in arms over the European Union’s trade regulations that prohibit even the yummiest of jam being labelled as “jam” unless it has 60 per cent sugar. Anything less sugary is “fruit-spread”.
But recently, the British Government finally decided to address the issue after the Business Secretary Vince Cable was ambushed on “air” by an angry woman jam maker who complained that her business was suffering because she was not allowed to call her product jam on grounds that it contained “too much fruit and only 53 per cent sugar”.
Clippy McKenna, whose “jam” is sold in leading stores, insisted that the Government must do something about a problem which affected hundreds of small independent jam makers. She said she had been fighting “this ridiculous red tape” for 18 months. Cable promptly promised to intervene describing the current rules as “ridiculous”.
“This looks like jam, smells like jam and tastes like jam. The only thing stopping it being called jam is some outdated rules. This is exactly the sort of ridiculous red tape that we want to do away with,” he told McKenna.
Several European countries, including France and Germany, have already changed the rules.
By the way, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines jam simply as “as a spread or conserve made from fruit and sugar”; “something easy or pleasant”.