I came across a jar of marmalade which we made in 2014; dark, sticky, bitter and perfect for breakfast. To me marmalade is different from an orange jam by its bitterness, that is why Seville oranges are used – or so I always understood!
I came across this interesting little piece, pondering on this very question…
There is no very clear understanding as to where jams end and marmalades begin.
One authority lays it down that marmalades are made of citrus fruit, another that jams are made of crushed fruit and marmalades from sliced or stripped fruits or small berries. But in the former case what of quince, green tomato and fresh fig marmalade, and in the latter, what of currant or pear jam.
It is all very confusing. My own personal definition is that jam is sweet and marmalade bitter – the kind of thing which does not cloy the palate and can be eaten for breakfast. Citrus fruit is bitter when cooked in any case and the various other fruit preserves which are termed marmalade – quince, green tomato, pineapple etc., all develop a refreshing tang by reason of treatment. And most marmalade is a thick mash rather than fruit suspended in jelly.
I have to say I disagree with Ethelind Fearon who wrote this; I think only citrus fruit can make marmalade, and anything else is a jam or conserve. I certainly disagree that ‘most marmalade is a thick mash‘, our marmalade certainly is not! our marmalade is as she then goes on to say ‘fruit suspended in jelly‘ – and a crystal clear jelly too!