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Friday, 23 January 2015

Marmalade and its bittersweet name

There are many stories to explain where the word “marmalade” comes from. One account holds that the word was created when Mary Queen of Scots was visiting a French speaking country and fell ill. A fruit preserve made by mixing sugar and oranges was one of the dishes they brought to tempt her palate – and the phrase she overheard constantly was ‘Marie est malade’ (Marie is ill) which gave the name marmalade, and which, incidentally, is a great way to remember the correct spelling of the word.

Though this story is disputed, it is a fact that marmalade was served at banquets and was used medicinally as a digestive aid in England in the 16th century. It has been proved that Mary Queen of Scots took medicinal marmalade for sea-sickness while crossing from Calais to Scotland in 1561. Marmalade was also used as an aphrodisiac.

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