Now, do you remember the lovely clip of the Queen, Paddington Bear and the marmalade sandwich? Well, do you know that in England, you are only allowed to use the word ‘marmalade’ if the fruit preserve contains at least 20% citrus fruits? Otherwise, it must be called jam or jelly. I must admit I was rather shocked and ashamed of the Brits when I heard last week that they actually managed to persuade the EU in 2001 to pass a directive (2001/113/EC) that the word ‘Konfitüre’ or ‘Brotaufstrich’ must be used in Germany and Austria instead of ‘marmelade’, which up until then, as you know was (and still is) the common word for all kinds of fruit spreads. The word ‘marmelade’ can only be applied to fruit preserves made from citrus fruits unless it is only sold at a market.
What a cheek! What right do they have to say how another language should be used? Apparently in France they say ‘Culture is like jam: the less we have, the thicker we spread it’.
The Austrians tried to contest this directive but I’m not sure if they were successful. Now that the UK is no longer in the EU, the EU Commission has been asked to reverse this sticky situation (haha) but has reported that it has more important things to do at the moment … So if you go to the UK, make sure you know the difference between jam and marmalade when ordering your breakfast!