Jellies, Jams or Preserves?

Jams, jellies and preserves

Even if you’re from the South, you might not know the distinction between jellies, jams and preserves. While all of our fruit spreads are delicious, we thought you might like to know how these Southern treats differ.


Jelly is made from strained fruit juice, so it contains no pieces of fruit. Sugar can be added to increase the sweetness, and natural fruit pectin helps thicken the jelly so that it’s consistently smooth. Pepper jelly gets its spicy taste from a variety of peppers and fruits.

Culinary Tip: Add jelly to vinaigrettes, stir-frys and beverages for savory fruit flavor, or whisk into chicken broth for a tasty glaze. 


Unlike jelly, jam is made from whole fruit, boiled down until the fruit pulp softens into a pureed form. Because it has a thicker texture than jelly, it provides more fruit flavor.

Culinary Tip: For a quick steak sauce, bring 2 tablespoons each of fruit jam, brown sugar, cider vinegar, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce to a boil. Add hot sauce to taste.


Made similarly to jam, preserves are cooked only until the fruit is soft yet still chunky. In other words, the fruit has been “preserved.” When nuts are added to a preserve, the spread is commonly called a conserve. 

Culinary Tip: Blend preserves with ice cream for an easy milkshake. You can also use preserves to fill crepes, top cheesecake or brie, and flavor plain yogurt. 

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