Fruit Preserves such as Jams and marmalades in German Supermarkets -Explained

Konfitüren, Gelees, Marmeladen, Fruchtaufstrich and Muss!

Some days back, I posted an article on Gelierzucker and Gelfix, which are used for making jams, jellies, and marmalades at home. This article covers products like jams, jellies, fruit sauces, marmalades, and fruit spreads available in packaged, bottled, and ready-to-use forms in supermarkets. 

These products typically share a shelf in supermarkets and seem similar. However, they are not. Let’s start with understanding each of them. First, let’s understand the ingredients.

The common ingredients in jams, jellies, fruit spreads, and marmalades are:

Fruit– Crushed/pureed or juice

Sugar – For sweetness

Pectin – to give it a jellylike structure

Acidifying agents: to aid in jellying

Preservatives: to increase the shelf life

Konfiture:  Jams are called Konfitüren in German. Jam is a fruit-based spread. It contains fruits ( crushed or pureed), sugar, pectin, and acidifying agents. Some brands use preservatives, and others don’t. Look at the ingredients list on the bottle. If it mentions the word ‘Konservierungsmittel,‘ it means it has preservatives too.  Also, you get a product called ‘Konfiture Extra.’ This product has a higher amount of fruits (45%) as compared to Konfiture ( which has 35%).

Gellee: Jelly is called Gellee in german. Jelly is similar to jam and has similar ingredients, but its structure is more elastic than jam. It is used in making cakes, pies, etc., and spread on toast.

Marmelade: Marmalade is called Marmelade in German. Marmalades are like jams, but the main difference is that marmalades must have citrus fruit, such as orange, mandarin, etc., in them. They contain fruit pulp, peels, juice, sugar, pectin, and acidifying agents. Again here, marmalades may also contain preservatives. Some brands have, and others don’t. Marmalade is also used as a spread on toast. 

Fruchtaufstrich: Fruit spreads are called Fruchtaufstrich in German. These are also spreads made with similar ingredients used in jams, jellies, and marmalades, but their fruit content is more, and their sugar content is less than that of jams, jellies, and marmalades. In contrast to jams, jellies, and marmalades, which are subject to legal regulations on the amount of fruit content and sugar, fruit spreads can have varying amounts of fruits and sugar. While buying, you may also notice that this ratio changes from brand to brand. A product called ‘Frucht Creme‘ is also available these days. It is nothing but a fruit spread made by fine straining the final product. You will find the word ‘ fein passiert’ on the bottle.

In addition, supermarkets have a product called Mus, sharing space with the condiments mentioned above. 

Mus: Sauce or kompott is called Mus in German. It is made by boiling and pureeing the fruit and adding sugar and some spices. In Germany, it is commonly eaten with Kartoffelpuffer (Potato pancakes), Milchreis (a dessert made from milk and rice), etc. 

Check out this recipe of Veg Pancakes with Pear Sauce ( Gemüsepuffer mit Birnenmus), in which I have made Birnenmus ( sauce made from pears) at home to serve with Gemüsepuffer (veg pancakes).

In this article, I would also like to answer the question:

What is better – making jams, jellies, and similar condiments at home or buying them from the supermarket?

My vote is for making these at home for the following reasons:

  1. You can get creative: You can combine fruits of different types and in various ratios, increase or decrease the sugar, etc., and make something that suits your taste.
  2. Use local and seasonal ingredients: You can use seasonal fruits, make your jams/marmalades in small quantities, and make a fresh batch again with fruits of that season. That way, you buy and eat fresh and avoid buying mass-produced goods. You also consume fewer preservatives, food colors, etc., and therefore serve yourself and your family the healthier versions of these goodies. 
  3. Save money: Making at home is anytime cheaper than buying from shops. Although the amount of money you save is minimal, it makes up for a point to be considered in favor of making stuff at home. 

In addition, the process is easy and doesn’t take much time. Check out my article ‘What is Gelier Zucker,’ which explains this product and its uses. It is the key ingredient in making jams, jellies, and marmalades at home and allows you to make them in a few minutes.

But of course, if you don’t have time, you can always buy readymade ones in supermarkets. the variety is enormous, and you will be spoilt for choices.

I hope this article was useful for my readers. Do share your feedback.

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