The key difference between marmalade and preserves is that marmalades contain small pieces of citrus fruits, whereas preserves contain large pieces of fruits or whole fruit suspended in jelly-like fruit syrup.
Marmalade is also a type of fruit preserve, so both these have almost the same ingredients. They include natural acid and pectin, fruits, and sweeteners such as corn syrup, beet sugar, and honey. Both are available commercially or can be made at home and kept for months or even years under correct temperature conditions. They are used when eating toast, desserts, cakes, sandwiches, or biscuits.
What is Marmalade?
Marmalade is a fruit preserve that is made from citrus fruit. It has a thick, smooth consistency. It is made by boiling citrus fruit like oranges with water and sugar. In addition to oranges, other citrus fruits like lemons, limes, sweet oranges, mandarin, grapefruits, and bergamots are used to make marmalade. Marmalade has a sweet and bitter taste because, during the process of cooking, the acidity and bitterness get softened. Some marmalades are sweeter, while some are sour. The tastes will anyway depend on the types of fruit and the proportion of ingredients used. Marmalade made from bitter orange is very popular among people. Bitter orange gives a thick consistency and is also a traditionally used ingredient in marmalade.
During the Roman era, marmalade was made using quince and was similar to the quince paste at present. Romans and Greeks understood that high pectin fruits could be cooked with honey and preserved in airtight containers. In that way, they found that this jelly-like substance could be used for months. The marmalade we all know today is derived from Portuguese marmalade, which is quince jam.
Marmelade is usually served with bread products like scones or toast and is also used to fill or decorate biscuits, cakes, croissants, baked products, and desserts. It is also used in vegetables or meats as a glaze. Jam or jelly can be used as a substitute for marmalade because they are sweet and fruity, but they do not have the citrus taste present in marmalades.
Marmalade can be easily made at home. First, the citrus fruit is chopped into small pieces. Then along with those fruit pieces, juice and flesh, water and sugar are mixed and cooked at the correct temperature. During this process, the pectin in the peel and the membranes make marmalade naturally created. This homemade marmalade can be stored in the fridge for months or even a year. But, unopened, properly stored marmalade can be stored in the fridge for about two years.
What are Preserves?
Preserves are fruits preserved using large chunks or whole fruit with sugar and pectin. Pectin is an indigestible carbohydrate. Usually, preserves contain more fruit than marmalade. In the case of strawberries, blueberries, or cherries, the whole fruit is used in cooking. These are held together with a light syrup and have a jam-like consistency.
At present, preserves are used in various ways, such as to stuff pork chops, marinate chicken wings, make barbecue sauce, fill muffins, enhance brownies and cocktails, and make homemade pop tarts and fruit spritzers.
Preserves can be made at home, or they can be bought commercially. There are low-sugar and sugar-free varieties available on the market. They include a special pectin variant with non-caloric sweeteners so that the gel-like substance will be created without sugar. To this, mold inhibitors are added.
This method of preserving fruits began thousands of years ago in the Middle East. Though in those days, the taste of the food items changed due to the ingredients added, with modern canning techniques, the natural taste of fruits is easily preserved.
What is the Difference Between Marmalade and Preserves?
The key difference between marmalade and preserves is that marmalades are jellies that contain small pieces of citrus fruit, whereas preserves contain large pieces of fruits or whole fruit suspended in jelly-like fruit syrup. Therefore, marmalade has a smooth texture while preserves have a chunky texture.
Below is a summary of the difference between marmalade and preserves in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Marmalade vs Preserves
Marmalade is a fruit preserve that is made from citrus fruits. It has a smooth thick consistency due to the small-sized portions. Preserves are fruits preserved using large chunks or whole fruit with sugar and pectin. They have a chunky texture, unlike marmalade. So, this is the summary of the difference between marmalade and preserves.
1. “Flickr – cyclonebill – Bolle med appelsinmarmelade” By cyclonebill – Bolle med appelsinmarmelade (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Jam-fruit-jars-fruit-jams” (CC0) via Pixabay