Is Jelly a Condiment? The sweet fruity blasts of flavours that explode on your tongue when you eat a toast with a layer of jelly, or how the scones sparkle with the bright colours of its thick consistency, jelly is universally loved by people of all ages. The perfect sidekick in a breakfast, jelly is used with bread, pastries, English muffins, crackers and other foods.
1. Jelly a Condiment
Here, I am not talking about the sticky, wiggly jelly everyone loved as a kid, but jelly which is mostly used in toasts as a spread. It is made using sugar and fruit juice, and is a clear and moderately thick spread. It also consists of gelatin but is majorly a fruit spread containing pectin, which is used as a setting agent for thickening of jellies and jams.
2. What is a Condiment?
Condiments are generally prepared to add or enhance the flavour of other food items. They are generally in the form of spices such as mustard, garlic salt, onion salt and other types of salt or in the form of compound mixtures for example chutney, ketchup, mayonnaise, and hot sauce.
3. Is Jelly a Condiment?
So, the big question arises, is jelly a condiment? Is it the supporting sidekick and the star condiment which enhances the flavour of other hero foods with its sweet explosive taste. The answer is yes, jelly is considered a condiment. Not a spice, not a sauce, not even a spread, but a condiment.
This is because it is used to add flavour to other food items, and is usually not eaten by itself unlike other spreads such as peanut butter. Also, a spread is generally used as a thick layer over bread and crackers for example butter, cream cheese, goat cheese, Nutella and while jelly does the same work and is of spreadable consistency it is still too runny to be considered a spread.
So, unlike other spreads which are viscous in nature, and can be consumed by themselves, jelly is not an independent food item and has a slightly liquefied nature making it fall in the condiment category. Its texture and dependence on breads, English muffins and other pastries are the two reasons for it.
4. Difference between Jellies, Jams, Marmalade, and Preserves
According to Merriam Webster dictionary, jelly is a soft somewhat elastic food product made usually with gelatin or pectin, especially a fruit product made by boiling sugar and fruit juice, especially citrus fruits. It is moderately more complicated than making jams or marmalade as the fruit is cooked and strained overnight, however this makes jelly the smoothest as it does not contain large chunks of fruit. It is generally used with toast, scones and gravies instead of tarts as it melts quickly. Jelly can be used for about six months after opening it if it is kept refrigerated.
Jam can either be made from whole pieces or crushed fruit, and is cooked with sugar to produce a thick pulp. Therefore, jam is usually thicker and easy to spread. It is not quite as molten as jellies and is a good option to use for tarts. It can be of various types such as raspberry jelly, blackberry, peach and apple jelly. The best part is that they can be stored for about a year without compromising its quality because of the way it is made.
Marmalade uses a similar concept as Jam to be made and has a similar consistency, except it can contain chunks of fruit or whole fruit. It is also similar to preserves but contains fruit rind, mostly from citrus fruit. It is also made of different varieties of fruit, majorly oranges, and also uses some amount of nuts. It is typically consumed with toasts, sauces, ducks, baked goods, and ice cream. Also like jams they are easy to make, so you can make your own marmalade at home.
Preserves are whole pieces or chunks of fruit or vegetables floating on very thick syrup. They are generally canned and used for long term storage. They are a combination of sugar, acid and pectin. They tend to be less sweet and less smooth than jams and jellies and unlike jam which has small, formless pieces of fruits, preserves instead have large chunks of fruits. They are used with bread, toast, yoghurt, granola and rolls.
5. Other Food Items You Didn’t Know were Considered Condiments
5.1 Hot Sauce
It is a compound condiment which is made with a mixture of different types of peppers giving it different types of intensities varying from peppers to brands. It is a popular condiment used which can be used with almost everything such as burgers, burritos, tacos and even your breakfast eggs!
The sour, tangy flavours of pickles are a hit in India with uncountable varieties starting from mango, to garlic and even cinnamon pickles. They are paired as side dishes with a number of foods to enhance flavour and give the dish a vinegary kick, and hence it is considered a condiment.
Even though butter is a dairy product, it is also considered a condiment as it is added to food to give it the soft, buttery flavour. It makes the dish taste delicious because of its smooth texture and its ability to completely absorb in the food.
6. Jelly a Condiment
There are many other condiments which are unusual and are not considered so because of their texture and usage, such as peanut butter, mayonnaise, and different types of cheese including goat cheese, and cream cheese. The main point is that all these condiments are used to enhance the flavour of the food item the same way as various spices are added to food to give it a personal touch.
Jelly, despite its molten form and its capability to melt easily or its insufficiency alone without a bread or scone, is the best condiment ever. It adds a sweet taste and is the dream breakfast of every kid. It comes in many forms and varieties and can be made sweet and sour according to its ingredients and preparation. Most of all it provides a smooth, surface layer which is like heaven to the mouth.
Condiments are not compulsory in a meal, but this is not say they are not important. They are the side dishes which provides flavour and distinct taste to each dish. They are made from rich, traditional ingredients, comes in variety of forms and most importantly varies from region to region. Condiments can be sweet or spicy, with new flavour in each household. There are so many condiments which you might be currently unaware about, but that is why its an experience to try every new dish with its new sidekick.
Check out: A Complete Guide: Is Butter a Condiment