The Difference Between Jam, Jelly, & Marmalade?

Jam, Jelly and Marmalade

Jam, jelly, and marmalade – all the three food products seem similar. Small kids may even find it difficult to distinguish between these three products. The fact is that all these three are completely different. Whether you apply jam, marmalade, or jelly, there is definitely a difference in the taste. There are also other differences among these three that are interesting to know about.

What is Jam?

Jam is usually made from fruits that are cooked with sugar until the fruit thickens. Typically, berries and grapes are used to make jams. There are other fruits also like apricots and plums that can be used to make jams. Jam is chunkier in texture. It is soft, so you can spread it by spoon on bread. 

What is Jelly?

Jelly can be said to be a cousin of jam. The main difference is that jelly is much more rigid in texture as compared to jam. Jelly is made from fruit juice or even from fruits that have small seeds. Once cooked, the product is drained to remove solids. The jiggling and wavy texture of jelly is its highlight. This texture comes from pectin, which is added to it in powder form. Jelly has the least fruit pulp in it. It is firm and can hold its shape.

What is Marmalade?

Marmalade is a fruit preserve. It is always made from any citrus fruit. Commonly, orange, grapefruit, or kumquats are used. The fruit is immersed in boiling water and then cooked with sugar. The texture of the marmalade is chunky, thanks to the presence of the fruit rind in it. The difference with jam is that jam is sweet, whereas marmalade is bittersweet. 

Raspberry Jam in Glass Jar

The Differences

To sum up, here are some points that will help you understand the differences between jam, jelly, and marmalade.

  • Firstly, all three are made from fruits. Jam from fruits, jelly from fruit juice, and marmalade from citrus fruit.
  • Jam uses cut fruit, while jelly uses only the juice. Marmalade uses the fruit and the rind and is made only from citrus fruit.
  • Jam is chunky in texture and smooth. Marmalade is also smooth and chunky because of the rind. Jelly has a unique jiggling texture.
  • All three have sugar in them. Jelly has pectin powder added to it, whereas the other two use the pectin that is naturally present in fruits. 
  • Jam is the sweetest to taste, jelly a bit less sweet, while the marmalade is bittersweet.
Chef Mark Dubois
Chef Mark Dubois

Mark Dubois grew up in a tinny village in the South of France where fresh ingredients, traditional recipes, and fantastic french wines are present in every house and corner. Chef Mark is specialised in Mediterranean Gastronomy, but he is more passionate about baking. Chef Mark is currently working as a hosted Chef in different restaurants around Europe.

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