I'm a native Russian speaker and you may laugh at me, but I don't fully understand the difference between повидло and варенье. Both words are translated as jam and seem to be used interchangeably. Are they synonyms, or is there a regional preference / any subtle difference in the meaning?
Согласно русской википедии:
Повидло получают путём вываривания с сахаром фруктового или ягодного пюре.
Варенье получают путём вываривания с сахаром фруктов или ягод, реже овощей, розовых лепестков, молодых грецких орехов, сосновых шишек.
Повидло - однородная масса.
В варенье есть фрукты, ягоды или что там варили.
If you want to make варенье from something, you cook it with sugar (and probably water, don't know for sure).
If you want to make повидло from something, you first grind it in a blender (or sometimes manually with fork), then add sugar and cook.
In my opinion the most noticeable difference between the two is that "повидло" is a homogeneous product. Both products are a result of boiling sweetened fruit. "Варенье" is then put in jars as a mix of syrup and pieces of fruit, or berries. But "повидло" is sifted through to remove small seeds, pieces of skin, etc.
Native speakers do mix up all these words as well, but JFYI:
- 'Джем/ конфитюр' - while boiling berries become smashed, there are no complete berries in it.
- 'Варенье' - berries save the shape.
- 'Повидло' - puree of berries with sugar (boiled also as others)
- 'Мармелад' - near to the 'джем', but usually from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and so on
- 'Сырое варенье' - puree of berries with sugar without boiling
- 'Варенье-пятиминутка' - something berry that was boiled for 5 minutes
Hope it helps.