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Seville oranges are small, round citrus fruits that average 7 to 8 centimeters in diameter, and have a dark orange, bumpy rind. The rind is covered in deep oil glands that release aromatic volatile oils with bitter and floral notes. The thin rind clings to the thick pith and flesh. When ripe, Seville oranges have deep-orange juicy flesh, laden with seeds. The flavor is sour, acidic, and somewhat bitter.
Seville oranges are available in the fall through the winter months.
Seville oranges are often referred to as Bitter or Sour oranges, and are botanically known as Citrus aurantium. Seville oranges are the result of a cross between a pomelo and a mandarin, and they are named for Seville, Spain, where they were first cultivated at the end of the 12th century. In China they are known as Zhi Shi, and in Mexico they are called Naranja Agria. The bitter citrus is well-known as an ingredient in English marmalade.
Seville oranges are a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and thiamine. The citrus fruit also contains potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, and calcium, and offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Seville oranges contain synephrine, which has been used in some weight loss products. Consuming the fruit is considered beneficial for the immune system and as a digestive aid.
Seville oranges are not meant for fresh eating due to their bitter flavor. However, the juice and rind are used for both sweet and savory applications. Use the juice for syrups, cocktails, vinaigrettes, aioli, marinades, or as a finishing touch on fish and white meats. The zest can be used to flavor sugars or salts. Substitute Seville oranges for key limes or lemons in custards, tarts, or pies. The bitter rind is ideal for making candied orange peel, and for traditional marmalade. The fruits are high in pectin, which is ideal for jams and jellies. Seville oranges will store at room temperature for up to a week and in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Seville oranges are famously used for English orange marmalade. There is some debate over the origins of the bitter orange spread. The oldest known recipe for orange marmalade comes from a recipe manuscript written in 1683 at Dunrobin Castle, in northern Scotland. This is the origin of the "chipped" or shredded style, where the pith and rind is cut into small squares. The longest produced and most popular brand in England is that of Keiller’s Dundee marmalade. Sometime during the 1700s, a Spanish ship carrying Seville oranges was caught in a storm and took refuge in the Dundee harbor. A grocer, James Keiller, purchased the oranges and his wife, Janet, used them in lieu of quinces to make marmalade. The family opened a confectionery business and began making Seville orange marmalade on a large scale. By 1857, it gained a worldwide reputation, exporting to expatriates in Australia and South Africa. Marmalade is so popular in Britain, it is celebrated every March at the National Marmalade Festival in Cumbria.
Bitter oranges came to the Mediterranean via trade routes from China, where they originated sometime during the 10th century. They were first recorded in Sicily just after the turn of the 11th century, and for the next 500 years, they were the only orange variety grown in Europe. Bitter oranges were first cultivated in the 12th century in Seville, Spain, where they gained the name Seville oranges. From Spain, the Seville oranges were spread by Spanish explorers to Brazil, Mexico and England during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Seville oranges are still primarily grown in Spain, though they are not as widely consumed there as they are in Britain. Much of the commercial crop in Spain is sent to England for marmalade production. In the United States, Seville oranges are grown on a limited scale by small farmers, and available through specialty markets.
Recipes that include Seville Oranges. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Guardian||Roast Guinea Fowl with Seville Orange and Red Chilli|
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