The rare British victory in Brussels has stuck in the craw of Germans and Austrians ever since. Traditionally, jams made from other fruits, such as plums or strawberries, were called marmalade in those countries.
But under Germany’s Konfitürenverordnung (Jam Regulation), which imposed the EU directive into national law, non-citrus jams must be branded “konfitüre” and not marmalade.
To many Germans, the loss of the word marmalade was hard to swallow. It has a homey, comforting ring that konfitüre does not.
Jakob von Weizsäcker, a German socialist member of the European Parliament, believes that Brexit is the perfect opportunity to put that historical wrong right.
In a parliamentary question addressed to EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, the MEP for Thuringia said the European Commission should change the marmalade law.
He said, “To avoid overwhelming our British friends, the term has been used exclusively for citrus fruit marmalades throughout the EU since 1979 — to the disappointment of consumers, particularly in Germany and Austria, who since then have only been able to buy fruit spread or jams instead of normal marmalade.
“Allowing marmalade to be called marmalade again could therefore help to sweeten the bitter aftertaste of Brexit for many EU citizens.”
The scion of the illustrious von Weizsäcker dynasty, a line that includes presidents, philosophers and nuclear physicists, added, “Has the Commission already considered reviewing the directive as part of the United Kingdom’s pending exit from the EU in order to stop the term ‘marmalade’ from being restricted to citrus fruits?”
Commissioner Hogan dashed the hopes of the 47-year-old in a written answer to the question.
He told von Weizsäcker, “The Commission has at this stage no plans to review Council Directive 2001/113/EC relating to fruit jams, jellies and marmalades and sweetened chestnut purée intended for human consumption.”
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