Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and peel of citrus fruits boiled with sugar and water. It can be produced from kumquats, lemons, limes, grapefruits, mandarins, sweet oranges, bergamots and other citrus fruits, or any combination thereof.
The benchmark citrus fruit for marmalade production in Britain is the Spanish Seville orange, Citrus aurantium var. aurantium, prized for its high pectin content, which gives a good set. The peel has a distinctive bitter taste which it imparts to the marmalade.
Marmalade is generally distinguished from jam by its fruit peel. It may also be distinguished from jam by the fruits used.
International usage of the term
In languages other than English, "marmalade" can mean preserves made with fruit other than citrus. The name originates in Portuguese, where marmelada applies exclusively to quince jam. In Spanish the term usually refers to what in English is called jam (and jalea is similar to the American English jelly). In Italian too, marmellata means every jam and marmalade.
In some continental Europe languages, Polish for instance, a word sharing a root with "marmalade" refers to all gelled fruit conserves, and those derived from citrus fruits merit no special word of their own. Due to British influence, however, only citrus products may be sold as "marmalade" in the European Union (with certain exceptions[clarification needed]), which has led to considerable complaints from those countries.
In some German speaking areas Marmelade is the traditional designation for any kind of jam and marmalade (especially smooth jam without visible pieces of fruit) regardless of fruit base, and remains so in everyday language in spite of EU regulation which limit the term Marmelade to citrus-based preserves to minimise international confusion. Because of the persisting traditional usage and given that the alternative term Konfitüre (originally used specifically for jam with visible pieces of fruit) is foreign to Austrian German, a special exception has been granted for Austria where non-citrus-based preserves may continue to be marketed regionally as Marmelade.