The tradition of plum jam making of the Szatmár-Bereg region

The tradition of plum jam making of the Szatmár-Bereg region (2013)

In the easternmost part of Hungary in the plain of Szatmár-Bereg there is a tradition of the plum jam making which has hundreds of years old history. There are customs and practices which are connected to the unique jam cooking technique from past to present.

The pristine plum species, the so-called ’Nemtudom’(’I don’t know’) plum which is naturalized due to the special geographical features, is a treasure for the local people. In early September a jam with characteristic flavour and fragrance is made from the small-grained and very tasty fruit.

The workflow (beat, picking, washing, sorting,’cibere’ making, compression) takes a lot of time: from morning till the morning of the next day. The work which requires more people and the  long-term jam making preparation method provide great opportunity for the families and relatives to meet as well as other community gatherings to come into being and hereby strengthens the sense of belonging and a sense of local identity.

In accordance with the requirements of today, the custom and the technique is passed on not only in a narrow range. Many programs, festivals and touristic events are based on the presentation of the  plum jam making and the products made from it. The ’Nemtudom’(’I don’t know’) plum is an important fruit for the local people and the special jam made from it is a basis or complement for many healthy dishes and delicious foods.

Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO
Elemér Muharay Folk Art Assosiation
Assosiation of Hungarian Folk Artists
Institute of Ethnology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Kriza János Ethnographic Society
Hungarian Ethnographic Society
Museum of Ethnography
Hungarian Heritage House
National Cultural Institute