There are many theories regarding the birth of the marmellata [jam] that dial back to english royal families or the famous De Medici family in Firenze. Legend goes that the noble family from Florence found this sweet food to be an adequate solution to Maria de Medici weakness; a complete different world in comparison to our modern supplements!
The Monzù where tasked with preparing meals and delicacies for the tables of the palace and for the queen, moved to France after the wedding with Henry IV.
The day in which the queen was diagnosed with a severe weakness was a busy for the cooks and the chefs, who all got to work to prepare something with citrus to give Maria De Medici more energy, and for that they decided to bring into the country the best citrus-fruits from Italy: Sicily’s oranges.
A story with noble origins
At the time, travelling from Italy to France was very long and a solution to preserve the oranges during the trip was deemed: the chefs decided to cook the oranges in the sugar in order to create an exquisite cream and put it in jars labeled “Pour Marie malade” ( “For sick Mary), which turned into “Marmelade” in French and “Marmellata” in Italian, destined to be one of the most famous products in the whole wide world.
Variants of the sicilian Jam
Legends aside, the jam left its marks well before the florence family. Both greeks and romans used to make jams by boiling wine, honey and apples, since the sugare came to Europe much later. From greeks to romans, the techniques related to the production of the jam quickly spread throughout every population but it’s in Siciliy that, thanks to the high quality of the fruits, became a prestigious product part of an ancient tradition that lives still today.
Sicilian organic orange jam is one of the most beloved variants both for the excellent taste and the perfect sweetness. It is produced with organic Red Oranges with peel and cane sugar. Beside the oranges, in Sicily, the jam is produced with many flavours of the typical fruits of the island. The organic fig jam, for example, is not as famous as the one mentioned above, but it can still dish out a really fresh taste, just as if the figs were freshly taken.
How to eat Sicilian Jam?
With cheese as an appetizer or spread on fresh bread for a great breakfast? Since the ancient Greece, the jam as always been a favourite of the people, thanks to its ability to blend well with many kinds of food. Sweet or sour and Fresh or Seasoned. Many are the foods that give birth to awesome dishes of excellent taste: The perfect combo wit the fig jam is the Brie Cheese; The exquisite taste of the sour oranges jam is an awesome combination with cream cheese, very frequent in cakes and pastries; but it’s still the classic jam spread across a slice of bread with a little butter that takes the crown.
The story of the marmellata is fascinating and in it’s in Sicily that this charm is properly honed and refined.