The Sweet Insanity of Chocolate Jam
People are weird, and sometimes extreme chocolate lovers are weirder. Case in point? Chocolate jam.
Chocolate jam was probably inevitable, considering the average chocolate extremo's willingness to experiment. But what's truly amazing is all the things people are willing to put in it as it jells. Some of this stuff is right up there with fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches, a la Elvis.
Given that trying to make jam with chocolate alone would probably result in a jar of thick chocolate syrup, of course it's obvious that you have to put something else in there; and of course it has to include fruit in order to be considered a true jam. But bananas? C'mon, now. Who makes a banana-based jam?
Those who experiment with food will try just about anything -- how else do you explain rhubarb, which is almost inedible without massive infusions of sugar? Then again, you can say the same about chocolate in its natural state, can't you? Some of the same spirit goes into the discovery of chocolate jams.
Anyway, it's a fact that banana jams exist, and it was just a matter of time until somebody decided to mix in some chocolate and see what would happen. The result, apparently, is yummilicious, and not as messy a recipe as you'd think.
In addition to oddities like chocolate-banana jam, there are also chocolate jam confections made with apples, berries, and pears. It's much easier to find these products commercially in other countries, particularly France -- possibly because experimental foods are more appreciated there.
Commercially-prepared chocolate fruit jams are hard to find in the U.S., but it's worth searching out the niche companies that make them. Remember, though, that they're usually considered gourmet condiments, so prices can be high. It may be easier to make your own and recipes are abundant on the Internet.
And then some...
There's one other chocolate jam treat that demands mention. Fruity compotes, jellies, and jams can be used with baking cocoa and a good cake recipe to produce a wide variety of extremely moist, tasty chocolate cakes. It's not quite the same as a choco-jam, but it's a nice adaptation.
Naturally, you can also make other chocolate baked goods with jams: jam tarts, bars, and even bread pudding. The latter includes, heaven forbid, tofu. If you don't mind a little bean curd in your dessert, well then, the more power to you.
And finally, one can't talk about choco-jam without mentioning a funky jazz band whose cool, rich sounds enriched the musical desert known as the Disco Era. So while none of their songs actually mentioned our favorite food, let us stand up and salute the great Ndugu Chancler and the Chocolate Jam Co.