There\’s more to this than meets the eye, you know?
As many of you will have been painfully aware, in Britain, sales of marmalade are in decline. While the attention of the nation has been focused on such diversionary chimeras as Iraq, the Iowa caucus and Britney Spears’s mentalness, marmalade has been going the way of the pikelet, piccalilli and Gentleman’s Relish. It is becoming an anachronism in the brash new world of the energy drink, the breakfast bar and Coca-Cola with vitamins in. It is facing gradual extinction.
Galvanised by this slow-moving preserve tragedy, David Atkinson, of Premier Foods – the manufacturer of Frank Cooper’s, Rose’s and Golden Shred – has announced an important change: marmalade is to be renamed “orange jam”.
“We’re looking at ways of making marmalade more accessible,” Atkinson said. “The challenge is to entice a new generation.”
The thing is though, you\’re not allowed to simply change the name like that. Ooooooh, no, there are laws about what is marmalade and what is jam. Very important ones too: it\’s a criminal offence (not a civil one) to breach them, with up to 6 months in jail and or a £5,000 fine to breach them.
Yes, it\’s our old friend, the jams, jellies, marmalades and sweet chestnut purees (including extra jams and extra jellies) where these are for human consumption but not in the preparation of fine bakery wares, pastries or biscuits. Here\’s the Welsh version. Yes, of course, it all comes from the European Union.
Our marmalade description:
A mixture, brought to a suitable gelled consistency, of water, sugars and fruit pulp, fruit purée, fruit juice, fruit peel or aqueous extract of fruit or any combination thereof, in every case obtained from citrus fruit, such that the quantity of citrus fruit used for every 1000 grams of the finished product is not less than 200 grams, of which not less than 75 grams is obtained from the endocarp.
Doesn\’t that make you feel better? That the governing body for 450 million people went to such lengths to protect you from marmalade which only uses 70 grams of citrus fruit endocarp? Further:
The following additional ingredients may be used, to the extent stated below:
essential oils of citrus fruits: only in marmalade and jelly marmalade;
So, orange jam may not contain essential oils of citrus. No, really, it is very important indeed. So much so that 27 national legislatures, any number of devolved ones and at least ten thousand politicians, with their assorted hangers on, secretaries, mistresses and toadies, should pass such a law. For what perils would accost us all if you were to spend £3 on a jar of orange jam which contained essential oils of citrus? As opposed to £3 on a jar of marmalade which did not?
Well, quite. People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough politicians stand ready to violence to the law on their behalf.