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Fat Guy

Jam, Jelly, Preserves: nomenclature

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Fat Guy   

A discussion around the family lunch table leads me to come here for authoritative answers: What are the proper definitions of and differences between jelly, jam and related products?

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FauxPas   

I'll jump in with my understanding of the terms.

A jelly is made from juice only, should be clear/translucent and contain sufficient pectin to hold its shape.

A jam is a softer texture and contains fruit pulp and/or seeds.

A fruit butter is spreadable and made by cooking down fruit pulp until smooth, with varying amounts of sugar and spices.

Are chutneys just considered a preserve? That's how I would classify them. Same with whole fruit preserved for storage.

Conserves and confits seem to be used more in terms of fruit suspended in a sugary mix, or do other people define them this way?

Oops, confit can also refer to meats, can't it?


Edited by FauxPas (log)

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Here's what I was taught:

Jellies are made primarily from juice and may have small inclusions of fruit but never seeds and never loose pulp. They've got enough pectin in them to hold their own shape when scooped from the jar; the best ones should have a gelatine-like consistency.

Jams are made from whole fruit, contain pulp and possibly seeds, and have a lower sugar and pectin content than jellies. They should hold their shape only very gently when dropped from a spoon or knife, and should spread fairly easily.

Fruit butters are smooth, contain only pulp and juice, and no seeds, and should be soft and easily spreadable. Spices are often featured.

Preserves are chunky, may or may not hold their shape, and should have almost no sugar in them at all - they're more about the natural flavour of the fruit/veggies or the flavour of the spices used. I'd include Chutneys here, as well as chunky ketchups, salsas, and kimchee.

Conserves are chunky, may or may not hold their shape, and feature sugar heavily, often before the flavour of the fruit. Peaches and Strawberries in syrup fall into this category. Confits are the same thing, but with the syrup blended together with the fruit to form a butter-like spread.

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Don't forget curds. Fruit juice or puree (seedless) that is thickened or "jelled" with egg yolks.

Jelly can also be made with wine, technically a fruit juice, cordials distilled from flowers (elderflower and rose, for instance) &etc.

Marmalade counts as "preserves" - the original being made from marmelos, quince in our language.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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heidih   

Having a flashback we called jams and preserves marmalade (sp?) in our German dialect as a kid

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pep.   

"Marmelade" is the German word you are thinking of. It has somewhat fallen out of use in Germany due to a EU regulation that limits "Marmelade" to citrus fruits due to UK pressure. Commercially, everything else has to be called "Konfitüre" (which originally only meant confit, i.e. with pieces of fruit). However, there is an exception clause for Austria where "Konfitüre" was almost totally unknown before accession to the EU.

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weinoo   

There's a topic about apricot preserves going on.

 

But what is/are the differences between preserves, jellies, jams, marmalades, chutneys, etc.

 

And which style do you like best?

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I'm not very precise about it, but my mental image is that jelly is completely smooth, preserves have some of the original fruit texture, and marmalade is a citrus preserve that includes the skin. I'm a sucker for marmalade.

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Jelly is made from fruit juice. Jam  uses the actual fruit.  Marmalade is made with citrus fruit pulp and peel and has no pectin. Not sure about chutney. I think it is more of a relish

 

Edit:  I usually opt for jam.


Edited by Norm Matthews (log)

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Shel_B   

If I'm off on these descriptions, please feel free to correct me.  This is how I understand the differences to be.

 

Preserves and jam are similar, and often the terms are used interchangeably.  However, jam often, if not always, uses mashed fruit, and the fruit pieces are frequently smaller than the pieces in preserves.  Preserves use larger pieces of fruit, and no mashing is involved.  Jelly is made by using the juice of fruit, and is jelled with the use of pectin.  Preserves and jam can be made without pectin.

 

Marmalade is made using citrus, such as orange, and includes the peels.

 

My preference is for preserves, with ample sized pieces of fruit, and my preference is for preserves made with stone fruit, especially apricots, peaches, or cherries.  Sometimes a nice marmalade will float my boat.

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BeeZee   

Jelly is made from fruit juice. Jam  uses the actual fruit.  Marmalade is made with citrus fruit pulp and peel and has no pectin. Not sure about chutney. I think it is more of a relish

 

Edit:  I usually opt for jam.

I think chutney is usually cooked, incorporates pieces of things (be it fruit, ginger, herbs, etc). I always think of it as having a bit of spice, more of a savory/sweet.

I can't remember the last time I ate jelly (as a young kid, PB&J with grape jelly was a given, but I later developed a taste for PB&strawberry preserves). Preserves are nice to mix into hot oatmeal, so you get it melted and have the pieces of fruit.

A related question is, would fruit butter be an ultra-smooth jam?

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rotuts   

jams, jellies, marmalades are cooked

 

Im big on marmalade, tart, chunky

 

grapefruit when I can get it, Lime is Devine

 

Good Orange perfectly fine.  TJ's has the orange  its good enough

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