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Jam, Jelly, and Marmalade

Updated on December 13, 2009

A bottle of Marmalade on my table, I wonder if it is the same thing as jam?

My wife said, marmalade is made of orange, while jam made of berry.

They looks so similar, but not identical. Here are some confused people like me: Marmalade is made of citrus fruit and jam is made of other kinds of fruit. There are other kinds of jam besides strawberry and raspberry, e.g., blueberry jam is quite popular too.

Definition from dictionary:

Marmalade: a soft substance with a sweet but slightly bitter taste, made by cooking fruit such as oranges with sugar to preserve it. It is eaten on bread, usually for breakfast.

Jam: a sweet soft food made by cooking fruit with sugar to preserve it. It is eaten on bread or cakes: strawberry/raspberry jam, jam sandwiches.

The word marmalade, according this article, meant quince jam and comes into English via French and Portuguese, deriving from ‘marmelo’ meaning quince. Further back, the origin is Latin and Greek, from terms meaning honey-apple, which was the fruit resulting from the grafting of an apple onto a quince. 

Marmalade might have some relation with  Mary Queen of Scots, who was visiting a French speaking country and fell ill (sea sick). Marmalade was one of the dishes they brought to tempt her palate – and the phrase she overheard constantly was ‘Ma’am est malade’ (Madam is ill) which gave the name marmalade. 

And another soft thing is jelly. Jam, Jelly, and Marmalade, they're so similar. "The proper UK word for jelly is gelatin. Jam and jelly/gelatin are two different things." Gelatin is derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones, the word originatedfrom French gélatine, and is a translucent, colorless, odorless, brittle, nearly tasteless solid substance.

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