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Some fruits are more common to make jam from them (like peach in Hungary), but sometimes even widely available fruits are not common to make jams (like grape). What's the reason and what is it depends on?

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Because grapes are traditionally used for wine and schnapps. –  rumtscho Aug 8 '13 at 22:10
    
Are you asking about making jam vs making jelly? Because grape jelly is very common, but not grape jam. –  thursdaysgeek Aug 9 '13 at 3:39
    
@thursdaysgeek, see cooking.stackexchange.com/q/784/4590 –  Peter Taylor Aug 9 '13 at 10:25
    
I guess I was trying to figure out if the question was why some fruits are made into jellys and not jams (such as grape), or why some fruits are not commonly preserved in a jam/jelly form. The answer below is talking about preserving the fruit in general, but there is a different answer for why, for example, grapes are usually made into jelly but not jam. –  thursdaysgeek Aug 9 '13 at 18:08

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The historical purpose of jam is to preserve fruit from a time of bounty to a time when it is less plentiful.

Therefore, to be a candidate for jam making, the fruit must be reasonably plentiful in the region where it would be preserved.

Technically, in order to form a jam or a jelly, there must be sufficient pectin and sufficient acid in the fruit to thicken it. In some regions, there are traditional combinations of high and low pectin fruits, in order to get a viable jam from the low pectin fruit.

Some fruits need acid, in the form of vinegar or lemon juice usually, added in order to help them gel; others need additional pectin. Canning Homemade has lists of high, medium, and low pectin fruits.

Other than this, it is down to the cultural preferences in a given region.

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When I make jam/jelly/preserves/marmalade/butter at home, I tend to get creative with the flavors and types of ingredients used. For instance, I make a brown sugar orange jelly that is delicious! I don't care for the rind in most marmalades, so I find creative ways to get rid of them. Making orange juice and turning it into a jelly is one way. :)

To answer your question about making grape jam, I think the answer lies with the fruit itself. Have you ever eaten a grape in parts (skin separately and then the meat of the grape)? The skin is very bitter when it's by itself. I would guess that is the main reason you don't see grape jam. The skin bits in the jam would make it too bitter or have random bitter flavors coming through. You could peel the grapes and then make jam, but that's extremely tedious.

There are so many options when making jam, etc. at home that you could come up with. IMO, the store bought stuff (unless a specialty or gourmet product) tends to stick with the tried and true flavors that are known sellers.

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