It’s that time of year when the world falls in love with marmalade. Pupils dilate with excitement when the word goes round that the Seville oranges are in the shops. Jars are scavenged from the back of the fridge, washed free of mouldy pesto and soaked to remove the labels. The largest pot is hauled from the back of the cupboard and the house is filled with the citrus smell that I equate with perfect happiness.
Or not. There has always been an underground scene of alternative marmalade: partly for novelty, partly because of the limited availability of Sevilles. Quite often because the tongue-numbing tang of bitter orange marmalade is just too strong.
Of course, bitter orange was itself once an alternative marmalade – the spread was originally made in Portugal with quinces. The story is that a merchant’s wife, faced with a shipment of inedible bitter oranges, tried to make the best of things by dousing them in sugar and a long slow cooking. (What was that first breakfast like? Did they make endless rounds of toast, deliriously excited?)
So now you’ve got no excuse to avoid getting in the kitchen this weekend with your big spoon and your jam funnel. Here’s a round-up of the internet’s finest alt.marmalades.
Disclaimer – quite a few of these recipes are in US cups. A rough guideline – 250g sugar = 1 cup.
- Delia’s Lemon and lime
- Rhubarb, tangelo and cardamom
- Sweet orange
- Orange and grapefruit
- Chilli and lemon
- Physalis (Ground cherry/Cape gooseberry)
- Rhubarb kiwi
- Mango lemon
- Grapefruit, orange and apple (WARNING: Contains Sevilles)
- And if you haven’t heard (and haven’t seen) BACON MARMALADE
Do you make alternative marmalade? What flavours would you like to try?