cranberry jam v.s. cranberry sauce

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brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
Cranberries taste tart. People eat them as jam.
Cranberries taste tart. People eat them as sauce.


(from a book by Reading A-Z)

In the Collins dictionary, it says the following.

Jam is a thick sweet food that is made by cooking fruit with a large amount of sugar, and that is usually spread on bread.
A sauce is a thick liquid which is served with other food.


From the definitions above. Both jam and sauce are thick liquid. So I think cranberry jam and sauce have no difference. I wonder what the book means by using them at the same time.

Many thanks in advance.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It varies, as most dishes do. But if you buy a jar of cranberry sauce or cranberry jelly, it’s like a sweetish pickle, usually eaten with meat.

    But to me, jam is the sweet fruit conserve that you spread on bread. In the UK, I’ve seen a cranberry and blueberry jam from France, but not cranberry jam.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Cranberries taste tart. People eat them as jam.
    Cranberries taste tart. People eat them as sauce.
    What an odd pair of statements; I cannot imagine why a reading book would print both. Cranberries are almost inedible until they have been sweetened by cooking with sugar. A sauce is made from cranberries and sugar (and sometimes other ingredients) which is, as lingobingo says, eaten with meat. The name the sauce goes by may be cranberry sauce, jelly or jam, but I've never seen it called jam in BE. A quick Google suggests that the name "cranberry jam" is often used in America.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    A quick Google suggests that the name "cranberry jam" is often used in America.
    I would expect this to be something different from cranberry sauce. I have certainly never heard anybody use the word jam in reference to cranberry sauce*.

    *Neither the thick stuff that comes in a can nor the thinner sauce that people typically make at home and drizzle over meat.
     
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    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I have never heard of 'cranberry jam' either, though possibly it's used in other parts of the United States.

    In my experience, 'cranberry jelly' is a clearer version of cranberry sauce, with a texture something like that of gelatin. Cranberry sauce contains whole berries and parts of whole berries. Sometimes it's firm, like gelatin; at other times it's softer -- like applesauce, perhaps.
    At times, the terms are used interchangeably without making this distinction.

    These both contain sugar, but neither of them have as much sugar as the fruit jellies and jams we put on bread. In those, sugar also functions as a preservative.
     
    I wonder if you mean cranberry sauce is thicker than cranberry jam and it can be salty.
    Cranberry sauce is never salty.

    A quick Google suggests that the name "cranberry jam" is often used in America.
    Is it? Like my countrymen above, this American has never heard of "cranberry jam" in his life, and finds the idea of a cranberry jam to be rather odd. Cranberries in my experience of both America and American English are never made into "jam", but are instead made into cranberry sauce -- which may either be a jelly, or else contain whole berries (as it does when I make it at home.)

    This is home-made whole berry cranberry sauce:
    cranberry sauce whole.jpg


    This is commercially-made jellied cranberry sauce. It is sold in cans, and typically served sliced:

    canned-cranberry-sauce-sliced-0000.jpg


    I will also note that Americans and Britons use the words "jelly" and "jam" with very different meanings -- but that is a topic which has been discussed in other threads.
     
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    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    As I said, a quick Google ....
    There's page after page of recipes for "cranberry jam", and as far as I can tell the authors are American.

    I'm perfectly happy to accept that some AE speakers who post here are as mystified as I am by the idea of "cranberry jam", but there is evidence that some AE speakers find it perfectly normal.

    We'll be having cranberry sauce with the pheasant later today.

    Merry Christmas.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Just a note to say that tinned/canned cranberry “sauce” so thick that you can slice it is a completely new concept to me, as a Brit. I’ve never seen it here.
     
    Just a note to say that tinned/canned cranberry “sauce” so thick that you can slice it is a completely new concept to me, as a Brit. I’ve never seen it here.
    No, apparently it is not sold outside of North America -- but on this side of the pond it is (but not without a little controversy...) the cranberry sauce of choice of something like 200 million people. Here is an interesting and amusing article on the stuff:
    Canned cranberry sauce, explained
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I'm perfectly happy to accept that some AE speakers who post here are as mystified as I am by the idea of "cranberry jam", but there is evidence that some AE speakers find it perfectly normal.
    Just for the record, I had not encountered "cranberry jam" prior to this thread, despite this being my 80th holiday season.;)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In the Collins dictionary, it says the following.

    Jam is a thick sweet food that is made by cooking fruit with a large amount of sugar, and that is usually spread on bread.
    A sauce is a thick liquid which is served with other food.
    Obviously, this is a generalisation, and usually it is true. However, it is not true when it comes to cranberries.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    American English (New England and NYC)
    No, apparently it is not sold outside of North America -- but on this side of the pond it is (but not without a little controversy...) the cranberry sauce of choice of something like 200 million people. Here is an interesting and amusing article on the stuff:
    Canned cranberry sauce, explained
    I purchased some canned cranberry jelly in a grocery store near the American Embassy in Athens Greece in 1978, a couple of days before Thanksgiving. The shopowner mentioned that he had sold some to other Americans recently. We told him yes, we are celebrating our national holiday (εθνική εορτή) and we loved cranberry jelly, it was really delicious. He said "So if it's so good, why don't you buy it other times in the year?"
     

    brian&me

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    This is the picture for cranberry jam in the book.
    b0398006bded52c9815809930c86952.jpg



    And this is the picture for cranberry sauce in the book.
    900c1fb4db77b550010333889e46a73.jpg
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Cranberry jam is like strawberry jam or plum jam or any other jam, it's a spread you use on toast and uses cranberries as the fruit.
    It is not the same as cranberry jelly or cranberry sauce -- condiments to be used with meats, especially turkey. It's also not very common.

    brian&me's post #17 illustrates the difference between cranberry sauce and cranberry jam.
    GreenWhiteBlue's post #8 shows the two forms of the condiment -- cranberry sauce and cranberry jelly.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I would never call any jam "liquid". If you can't pour it, it's not a liquid.

    Jam is applied with a knife.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    If you read the linked article in #12 it covers that. It's definitely a historical anomaly. :)

    By any standard definition of the category, jellied cranberry sauce would not qualify as “sauce.”
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    If you read the linked article in #12 it covers that. It's definitely a historical anomaly. :)

    By any standard definition of the category, jellied cranberry sauce would not qualify as “sauce.”
    (I don't have time to read all the links in forum posts but I agree with whatever they said if they say it is weird to call it "sauce", whether a historic or linguistic anomaly :))
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The Ocean Spray brand can actually says "Jellied Cranberry Sauce." The makers recognize that it's a sauce that has been jellied.
     
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