Grand in every measure: Mafra (Lisbon)
The Portuguese Versailles: Queluz Palace (Lisbon)

Like marmalade? The roots of the word and the sweet are to be found in Portugal

Ever grab a quince thinking it was an apple? Not a fun surprise... The Ancient Greeks knew quinces that were slowly cooked with honey would be a wonderful treat when cooled. They called them melimēlon, or "honey apple." A few thousand years later, the Portuguese word for it became "marmelo."


This time of year, the fall quinces are ripe in Portugal, with a sweet flood scent, they are ready for marmalade-making. Enter marmelada, a think brick of goodness that Portuguese love at tea time - mixed with cheese and fresh bread.  A match made in heaven! 

Yes, the word "marmalade," meaning a quince jam, comes from "marmelo," the Portuguese word for this fruit.

In Portugal, there are  quince groves in from Lisbon into the interior of the Centro and Norte..

Our friends at he Oxford English Dictionary tell us that "marmalade" appeared in the English language around 1480, borrowed from French marmelade which, in turn, came from the Portuguese  marmelada. The Portuguese word is to be found is Gil Vicente’s 1521 play Comédia de Rubena-

Temos tanta marmelada
Que a minha mãe vai me dar um pouco

We have so much marmalade 

That my mother will give me a little






Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)