Mrs. Beaton’s Marmalade: Seville Oranges from the Grid

For all the lip service paid to the superiority of local food, it’s rare to come across food that was actually produced in the Sacramento city limits. And yet, out-of-staters are always so impressed with the bounty of citrus hanging off of our city’s sidewalk trees. SevilleThat is, they’re impressed until they pick one of the oranges and taste the bitter pith and acidic flesh. Most of the orange trees downtown are Seville oranges, which are not meant to be eaten raw but should be used for marmalade instead. You could glean your own oranges and follow the Seville Orange Marmalade recipe from Mrs. Beaton’s 1866 Book of Household Management; oh wait, Darrell Corti already did that for you.

Corti Brothers produces Capital Vintage Marmalade, a delicious marmalade made from downtown oranges ($6.99). This style of traditional English marmalade is not like most of the very sweet marmalades on the market. It is chunky, bitter and black, as well as sweet and lovely smelling. The sweet and tannic flavor combination reminds me of some teas. The flavor is deep and intense and would go extremely well with breakfast tea (I’m a coffee drinker though, and it also goes well with that in the morning). Another cool thing about these is that they age well. marmalade_vintageEach jar is vintage dated (with a price tag sticker on top), and will apparently become darker and more complex with age. Awesome.

Although the drawing on the label is of the corridor of Seville orange trees in Capital Park, these oranges came from elsewhere on the grid. It is illegal to pick the oranges in Capital Park.

They also produce a Bergamot Marmalade ($12.99) from what I hear are Curtis Park backyard bergamots. Shop local!

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