Jam, Jelly- What’s the Difference?


I get asked all the time in my jam and jelly classes what the difference is between all of the different types of fruit spreads. There are jams, jellies, marmalades, conserves, chutneys, preserves – and it can be downright confusing. After all, they’re all made with fruit. So what’s the difference? Here’s a handy glossary to tell them all apart –

Jam – a chunky, sweetened fruit spread made with crushed fruit.

Jelly – a smooth fruit spread made with fruit juice.

Marmalade – a jam specifically made with citrus fruit.

Conserve – a jam with added raisins and/or nuts.

Chutney – jam with the addition of vegetable, spices and vinegar characterized by it’s sweet and sour flavor.

Preserve – whole fruit preserves in it’s own jelly, so that the shape of the fruit is retained (not crushed). This term is also used generically to refer to any of the above types of fruit spreads.

So, now that you can tell the difference between the different types of fruit spreads, which ones are your favorites? I’m partial to jellies, but a good jam can’t be beat either!

Reference – 

Kingry, J., & Devine, L. (2006). Complete book of home preserving: 400 delicious and creative recipes for today. Toronto: R. Rose.