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Ruth Adams hosted an event which she also curated, entitled ‘Jamtastic: Does exactly what it says on the (pec)tin’, as part of the Institute of Making’s Festival of Materials and Making here at King’s on 7 November 2011. The event was a celebration of preserves, exploring them from a variety of perspectives, and featuring talks on the history, politics and science of jams, jellies and marmalades, as well as some opportunities to taste them. The evening featured three guest speakers:

Cultural Historian Dr Maggie Andrews, Association Head of the Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts at the University of Worcester, gave a talk called ‘Jam and Jerusalem: how the Women’s Institute Movement found feminism in jam making and domestic labour’; The Bio-chemistry of Jam was explored in a presentation entitled ‘Jamology’ by Dr Daniel Buchan, a senior postdoctoral researcher in bioinformatics at University College London; whole author, cook and food historian Laura Mason looked at the early history of preserves in ‘No toast required; quiddony, marmalade and jam in the English kitchen, 1600 – 1800’.

Following the talks and discussions, both speakers and audience put theory into practice and sampled a wide range of different jams and preserves that they had brought along.

The photos show Laura Mason discussing the significance of the quince, and the audience tucking in to toast and jam.

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