Who doesn’t love Jam Rolls? Everybody does (save my sister, she always has to be the exception for everything!). I love it better when there’s mix fruit jam inside the roll, but I can go with anything vegetarian.
I recently heard about the famous Jam Rolls from Kunju’s in Kakkanad, Kochi. Need I say that I could hardly resist the prospect of trying them out then? Order placed, product delivered. I open the package like the Frozen Princess in the Amazon TVC. I discover the log of Jam Roll inside with a pineapple twist. They have pineapple layered generously inside the roll rather than the standard mix fruit jam that goes with most jam rolls. But this is Kunju’s, so nothing would be common after all. Make no mistake, Kunju’s Jam Rolls are not the standard Swiss Roll, they are a kind of their own.
Kunju’s was founded in 1931 by Kunju Asan (hence the name). It is said that Kunju Asan had early training in European Baking System in Colombo and Chennai. The building of Kunju’s Jam Rolls in Kochi is designed by Laurie Baker. Kunju’s serves a lot more than Jam Rolls – Lemon Paste, Plum Cake, Cookies, Cup cakes, cheese twists, etc. They keep a limited variety of products and it is a simple no-frills place.
The Jam Rolls come as a complete log inside a thin board box. You can cut the portion of the roll you want and consume, while the rest can be stored back. They taste amazing when fresh. The cake portion is soft and spongy, while the jam adds a sweet texture to it. With time the sugar in the jam might crystallize, which is quite normal for a sugar rich product. Here’s what I did. I kept the roll refrigerated the entire time. Whenever I wanted to have a roll, I would cut up a slice, melt some butter on a pan and lightly roast it up. Very lightly. You can use ghee, clarified butter or unsalted butter so as not to have the salt in the butter contradict the sweetness of the roll and destroy the flavor. Or you can just microwave it for a few seconds and have it as such. Both the ways enhance the flavor of the roll and make it even more delicious than it already is. The best part is, even after 2 weeks of storage, the roll is still soft and smooth. Good shelf life.
The roll does not leave behind the roughness of the palate. A lot of bakery products often use shortenings that tend to give that odd feeling on the roof of the mouth, but Kunju’s is not like that, even after refrigeration. It definitely indicates a great quality of the product. One can even feel the pineapple pulp pieces in the jam in the Roll.
I loved the jam rolls. It is something I could definitely have again, maybe not everyday (due to my increasing weight, of course!) but I liked it for sure. Not my super favorites, but good nevertheless.