Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

jelly a word applied to items made from flavoured solutions mixed with a setting agent, and then allowed to cool. They can be sweet or savoury, and range in texture from soft, ephemeral desserts to chewy confectionery. In scientific terms, they are substances called gels. In everyday language, the term jelly is used in three main ways.

Jelly sweets are confectionery items which use gelling agents such as gelatin or pectin to maintain syrups in a rigid form. These sweets are produced in bright colours and soft textures, and include children’s favourites such as jelly babies. They have a relatively high water content for confectionery, about 15 per cent, which means that they do not keep as well as many sweets. They may also be set with agar-agar, or a starch. turkish delight is an example of a jellied sweet using starch as a setting agent.