The  Marmalade (jam) is a canned fruit cooked in sugar . The ancient Greeks already cooked quinces in honey , as stated in the cookbook of the Roman Apicius . The making of jams is so far one of the most common methods for preserving fruits and its homemade production is superior to the mass production. The most outstanding characteristics of the jam is its bright and attractive color, and it must also appear gelled without much rigidity.

Marmalade characteristics

Although the proportion of fruit and sugar varies depending on the type of jam, the point of ripeness of the fruit and other factors, the usual starting point is that it is in a 1 to 1 ratio by weight. When the mixture reaches 104; ° C, the acid and pectin in the fruit react with the sugar, making the mixture solid when it cools. For the jam to form it is important that the fruit contains pectin. Some fruits with pectin are: apples , the citrus , and numerous fruits of the forest , except for strawberries and blackberries, for example. To make jam from these fruits, the industry adds pure pectin, but the homemade method consisted of adding another fruit with abundant two percent pectin (apples or lemon juice , for example).

For jams sold packaged, the European Union legislation establishes that they must contain a minimum of 35% fruit (25% for some red fruits and quince). For the “extra” quality, these percentages rise respectively to 45% and 35%. Citrus jams must contain a minimum of 20% fruit, of which 75% must come from the skin.

Name’s origin

The word “jam” comes from the Portuguese marmelada which means “quince jam” (quince is called marmelo in Portuguese), and this in turn from Latin melimelum (a type of apple) that has its origin in the Greek melimelon (meli = honey and melon = apple In 1238, the Murcian Ibn Razin al-Tuyibi in his gastronomy book Reliefs of the tables, about the delicacies of the food and the different dishes refers to the jam as wafers that were crumbled in honey or syrup to make sweets. In 1480, the word first appears in English documents, and was disclosed in the 17th century. It is in this century that the famous Seville orange marmalades were made for the first time in Scotland . The word spread through several European countries to designate sweet preserves only made with citrus, in others it was used as a synonym for “fruit jam”, and in Portugal it has retained its original meaning, quince jam .

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