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Jam making goes underground

Did you ever think that homemade jam could become a black market item?  I have a vision of those glorious women of the WI, the doyennes of the home made jam industry setting up illegal jam shops where Afternoon Tea is served in the dark with a haunting saxophone soloist playing in the background.

Customers enter with a secret ‘tap’ on a dark door in a dingy back alley after walking round the block a few times to make sure they’re not followed by the jam police.  Tea drinkers sip Darjeeling in almost silence using sign language to indicate which jam they wish to have on their homemade scones….blackcurrant, damson, gooseberry, raspberry, or dare I mention it……….strawberry (deep gasp for being so daring!)

There are secret escape hatches, the tables turn upside down at the flick of a switch to switch the illegal jam for gin and tonics, the dark days of the jam trade have arrived.  Jars can be taken home but are so ‘hot’ people pay jam smugglers to do the trade for them, these jars of homemade jam are reaching record levels, exchanging hands for up to £10,000 a jar.  Illegal jam making has given the WI new kudos in the black market, these ladies have always known how to make fabulous cakes and jam, but now with their skills being driven underground they are making serious money.

Don’t panic, this is all pure fantasy but you never know what the EU directives for the FSA will do next.  If you’re not aware of it there has been a new Directive reported widely in the press.  The Daily Mail this morning reported on it as did The Telegraph and The Sunday Times.  Illegal homemade cake making next?

The point the EU Directive is getting at is that glass is permeable and as people who make bottle jam have no idea what on earth could have been in the jar before they used up the ingredients in it and washed it out (der!) that this could be something dangerous and could kill the luckless person who happened to buy the resulting homemade jam. OK so glass is permeable but really only for hydrogen and certain radiations, it’s glass after all and I suppose we’re injecting common sense here which obviously no one in the EU has any of as that’s we have directives like this isn’t it?

I personally tend to keep only jam jars for reusing to make home made jar as sundried tomato ones are a real pain to get the grease out of so I tend not to bother, I don’t go foraging around in other peoples recycling bins to drag out unsuspecting ex-hydrogen filled jars to fill with homemade jam, maybe other people do?

Apparently you’re allowed to reuse jars for personal use but not if you are going to donate the jars, given away and definitely not to sell, beware the jam police or things could get a bit sticky, even worse you could end up with jam on your face.

Going Underground by The Jam – says it all really

Beverley's homemade damson jam, can't let you try it, I could get arrested.