love or loathe

I sometimes think that marmalade is one of those things, like marmite, that you either love or loathe.
In common with mr digandweed, I happen to love it.
This is the time of year when Seville oranges appear in the shops and their knobbly, unprepossessing appearance belies the fact that they make a superb preserve.

Seville oranges do not originate as one might assume in Spain, but in fact in China.They were brought to Europe by Arab traders and groves of them planted in Andalucia, particularly around the town of Seville.

As for marmalade itself, a preserve of that name was first made from quinces in Portugal. The quince or marmelo was made into a thick preserve or marmelada.

But, the story goes that the commercial success of marmalade in this country is due to one James Keiller, a grocer from Dundee who bought up the cargo of fruit from a ship forced to shelter in the harbour from a storm. However, dismayed to find that the the oranges were not sweet edible ones, his wife turned them into a preserve which proved very popular and by 1797 they had opened their first marmalade factory - and as they say 'the rest is history'.
Readers of this blog may know that I received Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries 2 for Christmas. The entry for February 4th is for Seville Orange Marmalade, inspired by this and by an article in The Observer, I decided to make some marmalade myself.
The recipe in The Observer uses not only Seville oranges, but also ginger too and since I am more than a little addicted to ginger in all its forms, this was the recipe I opted for.

Here are my little pots of amber treasure - fresh and bittersweet tasting with an extra zing from the ginger!



  1. I love the idea of adding ginger but I really can't make anymore marmalade this year... unless I open a shop!


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