Savory jams are the ultimate modern condiment, introducing creative flavor combinations that speak to American preservation traditions while offering textural counterpoint to a number of menu items—from burgers and sandwiches to artisan toasts and more.
They locate the balance between sweet and savory (or sweet and heat) beautifully, all while offering something intriguing while staying in the friendly confines of homespun and familiar. Savory jams are intuitively linked to handcrafted, made-with-love premium cues—housemade or not.
Maybe it’s a hot pepper jam stirred into a vinaigrette for flavor depth and viscosity. Or a bacon jam folded into a premium mac and cheese. Or a tomato jam replacing out-of-season tomatoes on a sandwich. Or a charcuterie plate dotted with a maple-bourbon jam, for instance.
“The blending of breakfast with lunch hours, the rise of snacking, late-night dining indulgences and the proliferation of bar snacks have created an opportunity for chefs to feature savory jams via new eating periods,” says Rob Corliss, executive chef of fast casual Unforked in Overland Park, Kan., and founder of consulting firm All Things Epicurean.
Here are a few of our favorite savory jam applications:
- Fig and rosemary jam on a spoon, as a garnish for a Cognac cocktail
- A flight of savory jams accompanying a premium bread service, like tomato-jalapeño jam, caramelized shallot jam, etc.
- New potatoes tossed in a spring onion jam
- Top pork with a spiced apple-ginger jam
- Blend tomato jam with cream cheese for a shareable dip