Bacon Jams: A Technical Introduction

The bacon jam is a modern, compartmentalised, efficient version of a foreign dish with all the convenience, and without sacrificing the taste. It sends your taste buds on a holiday…

By: Lisa Suwal*

Lisa SuwalSunday brunches are a week-long event, starting with the sweet suffering of anticipation on Monday and culminating in hours of preparation, if you’re dining at home, on Sunday. If not, then it’s a hearty argument about where to eat that involves a trade off between homemade waffles and avocado toast. Besides being an acceptable social setting in which to drink bottomless champagne and copious glasses of Mimosas, brunch is a uniquely crafted social celebration of the humble meal i.e. breakfast. But breakfast can now be just as special every day with bacon jam – a uniquely crafted celebration of the slightly extravagant and versatile breakfast staple, bacon.

The most simplistic version of bacon jam is made by slow cooking a combination of onions, brown sugar, vinegar and, of course, bacon. This mixture is then blitzed in a food processor to make jam. The recipe can be altered to include a wider variety of ingredients like garlic, maple syrup, a plethora of spices and even bourbon, with each ingredient adding a flavourful dimension. The cooking time affects the flavour and feel of the jam as well, with the process lasting anywhere between two and six hours.

What has been a standard German delicacy has now found its way into the Indian market. A brand that has long been known for its pioneering innovations, Prasuma has acquainted the Indian market with bacon jams by gathering experts and expertise straight from the source. The brand understands the nuances of a meat-based jam like no other. They have state of the art production centres that have the best technology to process meat based jams, besides involving a host of chefs who perfect their product.

The ingredients are of supreme quality and are imported from Germany. Choosing meat is always a dicey process, but the brand has dotted their ‘i’s and crossed their ‘t’s by making sure that the meat is antibiotic- and hormone-free. The technology is German as well. The processing technique involves the jam being cooked at low temperatures for a longer period of time without being pasteurised. This cooking process contributes to the enhanced flavour and texture of the jam.

Due diligence always pays off, and Prasuma’s knowledge of not just bacon jams but the market as well is what sets their product apart. This idea has been in the making for over a year, and the batches of product they have gone through attest to their commitment to getting the formula right. Since the company’s inception, they have been working in conjunction with German firms but they vary their products to cater to the palate of the average Indian consumer.

Besides following standard ISO 2200 practices, Prasuma goes above and beyond to perfect the supply chain – right from when the ingredients are sourced to when the jam reaches your doorstep. Unlike most other commercial brands, they have a unique branch policy – that of not allowing all retailers to store and distribute their brand. The product is sensitive and requires state-of-the-art storage and display facilities. Retailers are first inspected to decide whether they meet the product-specific and brand-specific standards.

This level of care is mirrored in the packaging as well, with various runs of the product having displayed an improved understanding of how best to store and display the jam to help increase its shelf life. The company now employs the use of eye-catching vacuum packaging.

The possibilities are endless for flavour combinations as bacon jams are one of the most versatile meat jams. Prasuma uses back bacon, or prime bacon, as it is leaner and makes for better taste as well as longer shelf-life. The two available flavours are smoked and spicy, but Prasuma has promised that more experimentation with flavours is in the works. They have no added colours and their product is gluten free, making it perfect for those who have been swept up in the recent array of healthy eating trends.

Although meat jams are a huge phenomenon abroad, no other renowned brand has packaged and marketed them in India on such a large scale. Prasuma has combined artisanal recipes and wide-spread access to make this a household name. There is a demand for savoury jams, but not many people know how wonderful an addition it can be to your palate. Customers are being roped in by way of offers such as Mothers’ Day specials and sampling stations. For as long as the product has been available, there have been multiple repeat orders as well as bulk orders coupled with promising feedback.

It takes a lot to satisfy and monopolise market demand, but it takes even more to establish a new market from scratch. Bacon has been a high selling product and is no doubt a household favourite. But the love for it extends from both sides at Prasuma; they love bacon, and want to know how best they can give consumers more variety. And it shows.

In comparison to fruit jams, bacon jams have significantly less sugar. The sweet flavours come more from the caramelised onions and, of course, the meat renders a distinct taste. Without the sweeteners the recipe, in fact, bears similarities to the Austrian dish Verhackert. Traditionally, the Verhackert is a mixture of minced bacon, garlic and salt that is used as a spread and that has a two month long cooking process. The bacon jam is a modern, compartmentalised, efficient version of a foreign dish with all the convenience, and without sacrificing the taste. It sends your taste buds on a holiday!

The ‘it-couple’ of our childhood, bread and jam, now comes with a delectable twist. In your hostel room or as a quick snack made to-go, the bacon jam replaces the hassle of having to grill and prepare bacon from scratch with the ease of swishing and flicking a knife. It’s a flavourful treat for food connoisseurs and amateurs alike. It is jam packed with nutrients, flavour and warmth – the perfect start to a successful day; the perfect pick-me-up when you need it.

*VP (Sales & Marketing) of Ample Foods. This is a family run business and Lisa is the second generation running the brand.

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