Poppy   Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:46 pm GMT
Okay, so....I have a question!!

Why is Marmalade called Marmalade if it's made from Oranges?!
You'd of expected it to be made from a "Marma", no??

What is a Marma?! Why isn't it called "Orangelade"!?

...The mind boggles....
Guest   Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:00 pm GMT
uh, does language have to be logical?
Guest   Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:39 pm GMT
Uh, No....It'd probably be better if it were though! :)
Lazar   Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:58 pm GMT
<<Okay, so....I have a question!!>>

You can find an etymology of "marmalade" at,, or

<<Why isn't it called "Orangelade"!?>>

Marmalade can be made from things other than oranges.
Guest   Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:12 pm GMT
Marmalade comes from "marmelo", the Portuguese word for "quince", a fruit related to apples and pears which was used for jams and jellies. In English, however, "marmalade" has come to refer to preserves made from citrus fruits (not always oranges, though).
Adam   Sun Feb 18, 2007 7:18 pm GMT
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "marmalade" appeared in English in 1480, borrowed from French marmelade which, in turn, came from the Portuguese marmelada. Originally, according to the root of the word, which is marmelo or quince, a preserve made from quinces was intended. There is no truth whatsoever to the folk etymology which states that the word derives from "Marie malade" (French for "ill Mary"), referring to Mary, Queen of Scots, because she used it as a medicine for a headache or upset stomach. According to José Pedro Machado’s “Dicionário Etimológico da Língua Portuguesa” (Etymological Dictionary of the Portuguese Language), the oldest known document where this word is to be be found is Gil Vicente’s play Comédia de Rubena, written in 1521, so 21 years before Mary I was born. Moreover there is no doubt that marmelada is a compound of the word marmelo (quince), that derives from Latin melimelum, “honey apple” (Klein’s Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language). Here are Gil Vicente’s verses:

Temos tanta marmelada
Que minha mãy maa de dar

We have so much quince jelly
That my mother will give me some)

The Romans learned from the Greeks that quinces slowly cooked with honey would "set" when cool (though they did not know about fruit pectin). Greek melimēlon or "honey fruit"—for most quinces are too astringent to be used without honey, and in Greek "mēlon" or "apple" stands for all globular fruits—was transformed into "marmelo." The Roman cookbook attributed to Apicius gives a recipe for preserving whole quinces with their stems and leaves attached in a bath of honey diluted with defrutum: Roman marmalade.

The extension of "marmalade" in the English language to refer to citrus fruits was made in the 17th century, when citrus first began to be plentiful enough in England for the usage to become common. In some languages of continental Europe 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. This linguistic difference has occasionally been claimed as emblematic of the irreconcilability of anglophone and continental world views.[citation needed]
19LA   Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:46 am GMT
There's a town in Haiti named Marmelade (it's the French spelling).

At the beginning of the 19th Century, Haiti was split by political factions between the north and south. The north became a "kingdom" under Henry Christophe.

He promptly created his own aristocracy which included a "Duc de Marmelade."
Adam   Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:47 pm GMT
Despite the origins of the word, marmalade is a British invention. The city of Dundee is known as the Home of Marmalade -

The 'invention' of marmalade as we know it is generally credited to a Dundee woman, Janet Keiller, who made the first shredded batch of marmalade in the 1790s. When faced with a pile of bitter oranges from Seville, she set about finding a use for them. Several hours later - with no doubt many copper pots to wash - modern marmalade was born.

Whether that story bears scrutiny or not, it's true that the Keiller family built the first marmalade factory in 1797. Thereafter Dundee was referred to as the 'home of marmalade'. And, while there's still a strong association between the city and the sticky treat today, there's only one remaining large-scale producer of orange marmalade in Dundee.

Marmalade is made in a number of styles. You're most likely to be spreading Dundee marmalade if it has a jelly consistency and contains shredded peel. Or, if you prefer a darker, thicker variety, then you are enjoying marmalade Oxford-style.