A Potted HistoryThe name Marmalade comes from the Portuguese word Marmelos, a quince paste similar in texture to an orange spread popular long before the commercialisation of marmalade in the late 18th century.
Despite the belief that marmalade was 'invented' in Scotland by James Keiller and his wife it was not - though due thanks must go to the Keiller who are generally credited with making the delicious breakfast preserve commercially available. The romantic notion of James Keiller discovering a cargo of bitter oranges being sold cheaply which his wife then turned into jam has long been outed considering the existence of recipes for similar 'jams' dating back to the 1500s.
According to food historian Ivan Day, one of the earliest known recipe for for a Marmelet of Oranges (close to what we know as marmalade today) comes from the recipe book of Eliza Cholmondeley around 1677.
A Comprehensive History of Marmalade from the World Marmalade Awards.
Types of Orange MarmaladeThere are endless varieties of Marmalade and arguments abound at the breakfast table to personal preferences. Amongst the most popular are:
Thick Cut - the orange peel in the jelly is cut into thick chunks creating a tangy bitter flavor.
Thin Cut - the orange peel is shredded finely resulting in a softer flavor and texture.
Flavored - endless varieties with added flavors; whisky, Grand Marnier, ginger, or a mixture of citrus fruits.
Vintage - marmalade left to mature for a denser, richer flavor.
Black - made by the adding of brown sugar or black molasses.
Making MarmaladeThe bitter oranges needed for making true marmalade are only available in late-winter to early spring. Seville orange pulp is also available year-round in cans which it does make a good marmalade, though frowned on by purists.