The Difference Between Jam And Jelly

By Mike Floorwalker on Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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“The Law of Raspberry Jam: the wider any culture is spread, the thinner it gets.” —Alvin Toffler

In a Nutshell

There are many classifications, but generally speaking, jelly is made from fruit juice, while jam is made from crushed fruit.

The Whole Bushel

When boiled with sugar, fruit will gel up and become sticky (fantastic for spreading on toast). Most people probably think of jam and jelly as being synonymous, but this is not so.

While the FDA has many classifications for fruit preserves, the difference between jam and jelly comes down to this: jelly contains only fruit juice. It gels up more, holds it shape better, and is much clearer and thicker. Jam is made with fruit puree and often contains chunks of actual fruit; as such, it is opaque, softer, and more spreadable.

Also: preserves are like jam, but made with whole pieces of fruit instead of puree. Marmalade is made with the peel and pulp of citrus fruit—it must be cooked for much longer because it generally contains little or no pectin, which is the chemical contained in fruit that causes the gelling effect. Pectin can also be purchased as a food additive, for jams and jellies made with fruit—mostly berries—that don’t have enough natural pectin to manage the thickening.

One other important difference? Jam is better for you. Since it’s made with actual fruit instead of only with juice, jam is much lower in sugar than jelly and has much higher overall nutritional value.

Show Me The Proof

The Difference Between Jelly, Jam, And Marmalade
What Is The Difference Between Jam And Jelly?
Jam, Jelly, Conserves, Marmalade?

  • DarthPoot

    Not bad.

  • inconspicuous detective

    oddly enough i would think that jam, having actual chunks of fruit, would be more difficult to spread than jelly.

    • http://listverse.com/ Jamie Frater

      The fruit is very soft because it is cooked for a long time.

      • inconspicuous detective

        still. i can’t get my mind around chunky fruit! darn american culture! >.<

        • Peach

          I actually have a hard time spreading jam because of the chunks of fruit!

  • Bored

    I prefer strawberry jam! Yummy!

  • rhijulbec

    I used to make crab apple jelly and grape jelly, all from wild apples and grapes. I also made freezer jam and marmalade. Since becoming diabetic though I no longer make it. I miss making them all.

  • Hillyard

    I’ve always wondered what the difference was. We had a grape vine in our back yard when I was a kid, my mom would make grape jam that we put on her homemade bread. DELICIOUS!! Here in Germany Marmalade is jam. None of it is properly eaten without peanut however.

  • Nowhere_Dan

    The real difference is I can’t jelly my dick up your arse

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  • matkajodi

    I like strawberry……I prefer jam..

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