Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Seville Oranges in the Enchanted Queendom

This happens every time you go to Queens. Someone will just walk up and hand you a rare and exquisite fruit you have been trying to find for years. Maybe we call this place Queens because it is where all the most deeply-felt wishes of our inner princesses are answered.

I was not feeling entirely my usual fabulous self yesterday and would have skived off my class, if I hadn’t been the teacher, but I’m glad I made the trip. In the Sunflower International grocery store on Queens Boulevard, Mr. Mizrahi noticed I was sneezing and coughing and said “here, take one of these. Put a slice in your tea or hot water.” Oh my, oh my. I had in my hands a lumpy, thick-skinned, powerfully fragrant Seville orange, or bitter orange (Citrus Aurantium). I had long hoped to get hold of one of these. Because they have thicker, bumpier skin, more pits, and a deeper, fuller flavor and aroma than edible varieties of orange, I am tempted to say that this thing is like the esrik of the orange world, you know, esrik is to lemon as khushkhash (the Yiddish word for Seville Orange) is to orange.

Hot Khushkhashade (Seville Orangeade)

Cut up one Seville orange. Place the whole thing, peel, pulp, and pits, in a stainless steel saucepan and add water to cover (about four cups), two tablespoons sugar or honey, and a pinch of salt. Simmer for five minutes. Adjust sweetness to taste. Strain and drink as is, or with a bit of spirits. It’s good for what ails yez.

Now I should really make marmalade, but I am clueless and short on time. Who has a sure-fire recipe that uses one slightly-poached Seville orange? Maybe Sweetnicks has—she will be posting the roundup of healing potations for the week.

כושכאַש, ביטערע מאַראַמץ
Citrus Aurantium, bitter orange

מאַראַנץ
Citrus Sinensis, orange, sweet orange


4 Comments:

Anonymous Richard Leader said...

Hi - not sure I can provide a recipe for a single slightly poached orange, but it's worth buying a few pounds of seville oranges when you see them to make marmalade - if that's exclusively what you're using them for, you can always freeze them and then make the marmalade later on.
We only ever see seville oranges in around February here in the UK - so I buy them when I can... They are also the ideal fruit to use for duck a l'orange in my opinion, as they are more sour which complements the fattiness of the duck

5:20 AM  
Anonymous lindy said...

We never see seville oranges in Pittsburgh. I am jealous, jealous, jealous.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Cate said...

Ya did it again - never heard of Seville Oranges. ;)

11:07 PM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

richard leader,

thanks, I don't think I've seen these before, but now that I know where to look I may go back for more.

lindy,

first, don't be jealous; Pittsburgh is the only place I ever saw a vegetable called Jew's mallow, so that's pretty cool.
second, this is for you. I was thinking I am so busy, and the holidays are so soon, and my writing project is so massive, that maybe it was enough just to get a few pots of orangeade out of Senora Sevilla, but having read your comment just a few minutes ago, I said, if they can't find Seville oranges in Pittsburgh, I just HAVE to make marmalade, so I fished my now thrice-poached orange out of the icebox, hacked it to gobbeties, mixed it with an equal weight of sugar (7 ounces) and cooked it with two bay leaves and three mild chile peppers. I am boiling the jar as I type these words.

cate,

thanks! I will be on the lookout for more surprises.

11:28 PM  

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