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A touch of Spanish sunshine with making marmalade

Updated: Mar 31

The smell is incredible as the Seville oranges bubble away in my (cauldron) pot on the hob. This is one of most satisfying, yet time consuming but rewarding jobs on a cold January day.

I was reading that Seville oranges are also used in herbal medicines, a stimulant and appetite suppressant, due to its active ingredient, synephrine. Great to finish off your breakfast then!

Seville oranges are harvested once a year, November through to February, only available in our shops and markets in January so this makes it officially marmalade making month! These oranges have the best reputation for marmalade in this country but are used in many other recipes around the world. The fruit is rarely consumed locally in Andalusia.  There’s still time to get to Seville to see the orange trees in full fruit, or in full bloom. A few weeks after the harvest (late February-early March) is orange blossom season, when for about three weeks the city is full of the smell of the ‘azahar’. This is one of the best times of year to visit Seville.  This was an interesting article about combining a trip to Seville with gathering fruit, think this needs to go on my ‘to do list’ what a wonderful time for a trip!

Unripe Seville oranges are commonly used in Southern Indian cuisine especially in Tamil cuisine. The skin of the fruit is cut into spirals and pickled by stuffing it with salt.  This pickle is usually eaten with yoghurt rice called ‘thayir sadam’. The Belgian ‘white beer’ is made from wheat beer spiced with the peel of the bitter orange. In Turkey the juice of the ripe fruits can be used as salad dressing especially in the Cukurova region.  I have seen a few delicious salad dressings made with the juice of seville oranges, more subtle than a lemon dressing. This would be good with steamed broccoli, white fish, meat, almost anything! The juice from the ripe fruit is used as a marinade for meat in Cuban, Dominican and Haitian cooking.

The rind and juice of the Seville orange can be used to zest up a gin and tonic and we use marmalade in so many recipes. Try roasting a whole chicken smothered in marmalade or talking about brunch ideas a bacon and marmalade sandwich! Homemade jam or marmalade makes such a great gift too, and yes I already have a few jars promised to friends and family…

This article has a few tips when you are out shopping for seville oranges.

GOOD LUCK!

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