Marmalade Moment


Connie Mooremarmalades on cupboard

While most gardeners are busy with green beans, tomatoes and corn about now, there are some preservers who go for a whole different class of canning. Jelly, jam and preserves are some of most beautiful products to come out of a water bath canner.

Jelly is made with the juice of fruit, sugar and sometimes packaged pectin. Jam is that fruit chopped up, mixed and cooked with a good amount of sugar. Preserves are fruits cooked with sugar in the whole, retaining the shape of the fruit. Preserve syrup is clear and can be of soft or sturdy consistency.

Marmalade is a soft jellied spread containing small pieces of the fruit and sometimes peel. Marmalades almost always contain citrus fruits. The white rind of these fruits contains a lot of pectin which is needed for all categories of fruit spreads. We usually remove the white rind or pith from oranges and grapefruits because of the bitter taste, but in marmalade it blends in with the sweet-tart of the sugar and fruit to form a most tasty topping for toast, bagels, scones and biscuits.

Marmalades go back as far as Roman times. Honey and quinces were cooked until set when cool. One of the earliest written recipes is that of Eliza Cholmondeley, England, 1677. It was for oranges. Scotland is credited with serving marmalades for breakfast. England followed suit in the 1800s. Much mention is made of marmalade in British literature.

Today the word marmalade can mean a singular flavor such as quince or citrus. Others use the term to mean any jam or jelly. Probably the most famous marmalade is Dundee Marmalade. A small sweet shop establishment in the Seagate section of Dundee, Scotland, operated by a couple by the name of Keiller was known for the spread. Later, they opened a factory to produce the thick, chunky, Seville orange marmalade.

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