Some people like jam, some like jelly, some insist on marmalade. What’s the difference?

Let’s start first with what they have in common – they all are basically some sort of fruit that has been combined with sugar, boiled until the sugar dissolves and then put into sterilized jars.

So, what differentiates them?

  • Jellies – include only the fruit juice; the solids are removed, and pectin is also added to the cooking process.
  • Jams – the fruit pieces are crushed and left in the mixture (also with pectin and sometimes an acidic ingredient).
  • Preserves – the fruit pieces are not crushed and left in the jelly mixture.
  • Marmalade – made the same way as preserves, but using the peel and pulp of a citrus fruit.
  • Conserves – a mixture of cooked fruits, nuts and sometimes raisins.

Note: terms can be different in the United Kingdom and other countries that speak “British” English not “American” English – just to make it more confusing!

Lee Clayton Roper


I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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