Jelly, Jam, Preserves and Marmalade – what the heck is the difference?

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Often time’s inspiration for posts comes from everyday questions people ask me. This one came up the other day so I thought I would try to address it in the simplest of terms. Without getting too technical, here is a breakdown of jelly, jam, preserves and marmalade.

Jelly – is fruit boiled with water and sugar. Pectin, a complex carbohydrate and thickening agent found in plant cell walls, is added to help the jelly holds its consistency. Jelly does not contain any bits of fruit.

Jam – is made with chunks of chopped fruit that are cooked in water, sugar and pectin. The main difference between jam and jelly is the presence of chunk of chopped fruit.

Preserves – is fruit cooked with sugar and pectin. Similar to jam in terms of consistency but the chunks of fruit are generally larger, often times whole.

Marmalade – is fruit cooked with sugar and pectin. The major difference between marmalade and preserves is the use of the flesh and the peel of the fruit in marmalade. This gives marmalade a stronger and slightly bitter taste.

1 comment

  1. Damla October 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm Reply

    Tricky time of year, bit late for Seville oranges for Marmalade, too early for jams and most cheytuns. Onions always seem to be around, maybe some onion marmalade, we tried this once, ours was yuck, so good luck!

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