from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jam (of Portuguese marmelo , quince ' ) is the traditional name for a spread consisting of sugar preserved fruit is produced, remain visible without fruit pieces in the finished product. In the EU , the designation is now allowed - with local exceptions - only for products made from citrus fruits (in which there may be visible pieces of fruit, often these are shell fragments), products made from other fruits are called jam . The laws in Germany and Austria had to be adapted accordingly. Since 2003, however, due to the exemption, the name has been used increasingly in the trade for products of all kinds, as was previously the case.

Other regional names include Schmiersel (in Palatinate), Gsälz (in Swabian), Schleck (s) l (in Baden), Sießschmeer (in Saarland) and Gebêss (in Luxembourg), Konfi or Gomfi (from jam, in Switzerland ).

In common parlance, the term jam has been retained for products made from all kinds of fruit, despite changed regulations.


Jam goes back to Portuguese marmelada ' quince sauce' , a derivation of Portuguese marmelo 'honey apple' , 'quince'. Marmelo comes from the Latin melimēlum or ultimately from the Greek μελίμηλον mélimēlon , a combination of the Greek μέλι méli , German 'honey' and the Greek μῆλον mḗlon , German 'apple' . The expansion of meaning probably took place in French , through which the Portuguese word finally got into German. In Germany, the name Spanish Marmalada can be found for the first time in 1597 in Hamburg.


The first jam-like substance can be traced back to ancient Rome. Excavations in 1937 found residues of plum puree in connection with sugar cane in clay pots. This is a forerunner of today's jam.

Orange jam

Jam with oranges, ie jam in accordance with today's EU directive, was mentioned as early as 1669 in London by Samuel Pepys in his diary entry of March 9th: “I drank orange juice there for the first time, probably half a liter and in one gulp. They make jam out of the bowls. They drink the juice like wine, with sugar, and it tastes delicious [...] “However, it is not possible to determine whether the oranges are sweet or already bitter . The oldest documented British recipe for jam made from bitter orange was written down by an Eliza Cholmondeley in 1677, referred to as the Marmelet of oranges and is now in the archives of the English county of Cheshire . Cholmondeley's recipe results in a solid mass similar to quince bread .

There is concrete evidence of a commercial production of bitter orange jam for the first time in Dundee , Scotland . It was "invented" by the businessman Janet Keiller . Towards the end of the 18th century a Spanish merchant ship from the Seville region was forced to call at the port of this city due to an emerging storm. On board was a large quantity of bitter oranges that her son, grocer James Keiller, had bought cheaply. Since the fruits were almost inedible in their raw state, his mother cooked them finely chopped with a lot of sugar in order to ultimately successfully transform them into a product that was easy to sell. This jam was in her candy store along with other jams, the Jam , sold were called. The rapidly developing overall demand soon left a factory-like production for the later famous Scottish bitter orange marmalade arise, and in 1797 the family founded Keiller at Dundee the first jams manufactory in the world.

Designation regulations

Only citrus fruit products can be sold as jam in supermarkets.
Homemade apricot jam

Until the enactment of the Jam Ordinance (KonfV) of October 26, 1982 in Germany, the term was used for preparations made from numerous fruits such as currants , cherries , strawberries , apricots , raspberries , plums , pears , apples and others. The difference to the jam was that pieces of fruit were still visible in the latter. A distinction was also made between single-fruit and multi-fruit jams.

In Directive 79/693 / EEC (revised by Directive 2001/113 / EC), the EEC determined that the term jam should in future be reserved for fruit spreads made from citrus fruits . This is due to the British influence, because the English term marmalade already referred to the special British ( bitter ) orange jam. The new classification between jam and jam can lead to misunderstandings because the classification has changed and you can no longer distinguish between “old” jam with pieces of fruit and “new” jam.

The designation "jam" is permitted instead of "jam" for products that are sold at local markets (e.g. farmers' markets and weekly markets) and in "on-farm sales". Outside of these ranges, “jam” means a product made from citrus fruits.

Jam, which is made from fruit juice rather than whole fruit, is called jelly . Naturally sweet products of a similar nature must be called " fruit spread " in Germany .


Taking into account the existing language usage in some member states, the EU generally permitted the use of traditional names in 2003, provided that the products are not traded within the Community.

According to § 3 Paragraph 2 Clause 3 of the German Jam Ordinance and § 4 Paragraph 2 of the Austrian Jam Ordinance, jam may continue to be referred to as "jam" within the meaning of EU law if the products are sold directly on local markets, in particular farmers' markets or weekly markets (End) consumers are released.


The traditional jam is still described in jam recipes in cookbooks. These recipes also include, for example, multi-fruit jams such as strawberry-apple jam and jam made from sour cherry, gooseberry and blackcurrant (see also Opekta ).


After filling the cooked fruit into glasses, the glasses can be turned upside down for a short time. This is used to sterilize the edge and the inside of the lid by the hot pulp. A common misconception is that this also increases the negative pressure required for preservation. This is caused by the cooling of the air contained in the glass - regardless of whether the glass is upside down or not.

Use in pastries

The jam is an important part of the Austrian cuisine . Pancakes are coated with jam and then rolled up. The Sacher cake is apricotized with apricot jam before glazing . Traditionally, currant jam is used for the Linzer Torte . Buchteln can be filled with both Powidl and apricot jam , apricot jam is common for carnival donuts. The abundance of punch donuts is also made using apricot jam. Padded zips are filled with jam, the most popular for this is currant jam. Many Christmas cookies cannot do without jam: Linzer Augen, for example, consist of two slices of biscuit that are glued together with currant jam. Cranberry jam is traditionally used for the Bolzano buckwheat cake . In the Hessian cuisine, plum jam ( latwerge ) is traditionally used to fill crepels . It is also a conventional spread on dark bread (black bread) with quark (mat). Regionally, crepes are also filled with rose hip jam.


  • The painter Carl Spitzweg collected recipes, which he often provided with drawings or collages. For his niece Nina Spitzweg, he prepared a series of illustrated cooking recipes, which he said came from at least five cookbooks. Regarding the “strawberry jam”, he remarked: The same applies here as for the preparation of cherry jam . See this.
  • A host in the Wachau who refused to call his apricot jam "apricot jam" triggered the "apricot affair". This led to an exception to the designation rule.
  • In Eastern Austria, the joke name Marmeladinger is common for Northern Germans.
  • In Croatia, the term “jam” is also used for garlic with olive oil.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. a b Kluge. Etymological dictionary of the German language . Edited by Elmar Seebold . 25th, revised and expanded edition. De Gruyter, Berlin / Boston 2011, under jam; Etymological dictionary of German. Developed under the direction of Wolfgang Pfeifer . Akademie, Berlin 1989 and numerous new editions, under jam .
  2. a b Federal Law Gazette for the Republic of Austria: 367th Ordinance: Jam Ordinance 2004
  3. Information for the production and marketing of jams, marmalades and fruit spreads. (PDF (33.5 kB)) Food monitoring, animal protection and veterinary service of the state of Bremen, January 24, 2018, accessed on November 19, 2019 .
  4. For Switzerland see Linguistic Atlas of German-speaking Switzerland . Volume V, Map 191 and Christoph Landolt : Jam - then and now . «Word history» from October 26, 2016, ed. from the editors of the Swiss Idiotikon .
  5. ^ Friedrich Kluge : Etymological dictionary of the German language. 21st edition edited by Walther Mitzka. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1975, Lemma Marmelade .
  6. ^ Samuel Pepys: The diaries 1660–1669. Edited by Gerd Haffmans and Heiko Arntz, Haffmans Verlag bei Zweausendeins, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-942048-18-7 , vol. 9, page 491
  7. a b Helena Attlee: The Land Where Lemons Grow . P. 85
  8. ^ A b W. M. Matthew: The Keiller Dynasty 1800–1879 reports on the history of the Keillers; BBC News Legacies: Keiller's: Sticky Success : offers a shortened version
  9. ^ Sindelfinger Zeitung / Böblinger Zeitung: From the quince to the strawberry
  10. Directive 79/693 / EEC
  11. Directive 2001/113 / EC
  12. Leaflet for self-marketers of jams, jellies, jams and fruit spreads. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  13. ^ Ordinance on jams and some similar products.
  14. Entire legal regulation for jam regulation.
  15. Recipe for buckwheat cake from South Tyrol ( Memento from June 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  16. ^ Gerhard Tötschinger : Would you like to dine? A culinary foray through the countries of the Austrian monarchy. Amalthea Verlag 1996. ISBN 978-3-85002-384-9 , page 139
  17. ^ The apricot affair in the Berliner Zeitung of December 22, 2006 (accessed on December 24, 2013)

Web links

Commons : jam  - collection of images
Wikibooks: Recipe for jam / jam  - learning and teaching materials
Wiktionary: jam  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations