[Sca-cooks] Jellies and Jams and Fruit Pastes, Oh My!

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Mon Oct 29 16:32:51 PDT 2007

Greetings!  There are a number of jellies in the English cookery books that
aren't like what we think of when we spread jelly on our bread.  Many
jellies of the Tudor and Elizabethan times were unsweetened, based on fish
or the jelly from the feet of pigs and calves.  These were often colored
and served during the "banquet" (dessert) course as well as during the main
meal.  There's some discussion of this in C. Anne Wilson's "'Banquetting
Stuffe'".  From what Wilson implies, even if sweetened, many of these
jellies were not made from fruit at this time.  And, if they were, the
result was usually clear, albeit colored.

Jam - to me, at least - has pureed or mashed up fruit pulp.  It isn't
clear.  Modern jam is at least spreadable whereas fruit pastes (or cheese?)
isn't really spreadable.  You can slice (leach) a fruit paste.  You can't
really slice jam.  I don't know how the Rumpolt recipe would come out.  I'd
take Adamantius's word that it looks more like a "fruit paste/'cheese'".

There are also preserves which - to me, at least - have chunks of fruit in
them and can be quite thick.  And, I don't believe (personal opinion only)
that preserves equate to either jam, jelly or fruit paste.  My opinion is
that they are four different products which use sugar, fruit (in most
cases) and some type of liquid (which might be boiled out of the final
product).  Again, just to repeat, there are a number of jellies in English
and German cookery books that don't contain fruit.

You betcha it's confusing!

Alys Katharine

Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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