Juicy and plump oranges cultivated in the Seville region of Spain are often touted as the most 'respectable' variety among the oranges. These special oranges are used to make the classic English marmalade.
Marmalade is a fruit preserve made from the juice and zest of citrus fruits. This jelly-like spread is similar to jam and is called marmalade as it made form oranges. Though there are different types of marmalades around the globe, the one made from the Seville oranges is quite special. It is the English who are known for making delicious home-made marmalade even though the oranges come from Seville.
The city of Dundee in Scotland is said to be the birthplace of marmalade. There is even an interesting story behind the birth of the first jar of delicious marmalade. In the seventeenth century, a ship got docked on the coast of Dundee, after it was damaged in a storm. The ship contained a bulk cargo of oranges. As the crew wasn't sure about the return journey, they decided to sell the oranges in Dundee. James Keiller, who ran a small sweets shop in the town bought the oranges for a very low price.
If the legends are to be believed, then it was his wife who made marmalade from those oranges for the first time.
As per another legend Mary, Queen of Scots had fallen sick and her doctor had prescribed preserved oranges as a medicine. The queen soon recovered and the people began calling the orange preserve that cured their queen as marmalade. Interestingly, there are countless recipes of jams made from fruits including oranges in many cookbooks dating back to the 15th century.
Today, the orange marmalade is an indispensable part of the classic English breakfast. Marmalade is often considered a luxury item as it is difficult to prepare it. Fresh orange juice is used to make the marmalade and you could even bite into the tangy and bitter bits of orange peel as well.
Though popular around the world, the Spaniards are not really fond of the Seville oranges that are too sour. At least 15,000 tones of Seville oranges are exported to Britain in a year, just to make the marmalade. Countless carnivals and fests are conducted in various parts of Britain to celebrate and sell orange marmalade.