Marmalade is a fruit preserve usually made of citrus fruits. British-style marmalade is sweet marmalade with a bitter tang made from fruit, sugar, water, zest and (in some commercial brands) a gelling agent. American-style marmalade is sweet, not bitter. In English-speaking usage "marmalade" almost always refers to a preserve derived from a citrus, most commonly oranges. The recipe includes sliced or chopped fruit peel, which is simmered in fruit juice and water until soft; indeed marmalade is sometimes described as jam with fruit peel (although many manufacturers now also produce peel-free marmalade).
The definition of marmalade has evolved over the centuries. Originally, it was a sweet spread made from the quince fruit. The term marmalade has conflicting origins. One account holds that marmalade was created by a doctor treating Mary, Queen of Scots, for seasickness by mixing crushed sugar with oranges. The story infers the term marmalade is a derivation of "Marie est malade," a French phrase roughly meaning "Mary's illness."
However, most historians scoff at this explanation and believe the term came from the Portuguese marmelo for quince, from which original marmelada was made. Marmalade first appears in English print in 1524. By the 18th century, the Seville orange (a bitter variety) had replaced the quince in marmalade popularity.
Today, the general definition for marmalade is a sweet jelly in which pieces of fruit and rind are suspended. The key is the rind, which gives lends a bitterness to delightfully balance the sweetness of the jelly.
Most marmalades have a citrus base, either orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, or kumquat. To this general base, many other fruits can be added to pique the palate.
Some cooks use the terms marmalade and fruit preserves interchangeably.
Here at Meli, we take this extra step and provide our customers with house made seasonal marmalades using organic fruits.
Our marmalades are available for purchase.