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[cooking] bitter oranges

  • sylcha Feb 11, 2011 05:53 PM
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hi !

i'm new in san francisco and i would like to know where it's possible to buy some bitter oranges (the ones you need to make some marmelade) in san francisco (or in the bay area).

thanks.

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  1. In season, the good citrus vendor at the Alemany Farmers Market would have them (I'm blanking on the name). Berkeley Bowl in Berkely likewise will have them in season.

    24 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      does that means it isn't the season now ?

      1. re: sylcha

        Google says the Seville oranges should be available now but the end of the season is about now. Round up the usual suspects, Berkeley Bowl, Monterey Market, Whole Foods.

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        Berkeley Bowl
        2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

        1. re: wolfe

          Yeah, I wasn't sure about how the season is this year and it is pretty close to the normal end.

          1. re: rworange

            Today at Berkeley Bowl:
            Seville oranges $0.89 per pound
            Bergamot oranges $1.69 per pound

            The citrus season seems to be running late this year.

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            Berkeley Bowl
            2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

            1. re: Joel

              What do people do with fresh bergamot, anyway? I got one once out of curiosity and the flavor seemed pretty odd. The recipes I find on the Web don't make much sense to me.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Use the zest, make Earl Grey cakes.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  bergamot lemons are those in use in moroccan cooking, for 'tagine' : they are candied (i'm not sure it's the good term...) in water and salt during 3 weeks.

                  1. re: sylcha

                    I thought the bergamot was an orange masquerading as a lemon. The lemons for tagine are "preserved".
                    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_...

                    1. re: sylcha

                      Moroccan preserved lemons are usually Lisbons or Eurekas, which are your typical supermarket lemons, or Femminellos, which are similar.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        i used to live in Morocco and the lemons which are preserved weren't the same ones you use for juice (for lemonade or with fishes for example). those lemons were flattened at the ends (like on those picture here http://palaisdesdelices.canalblog.com...). morrocans call them 'beldi lemons' and they seem to be 'bergamot' ones. perhaps they preserve those ones because they can't use them in a different way.

                        1. re: sylcha

                          Interesting. Citron beldi is apparently limetta de Marrakech. Not Bergamot orange, but not a true lemon, either.

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston

                      This question comes up every few years or so. Seemed like a good time for a revival
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/766529

                      The usual answer is marmelad or drying for tea.

                      What did you ever do with that one bergamot, Ruth ... in 2006?

                      1. re: rworange

                        LOL. rw, I had forgotten about the whole thread and I have absolutely no recollection of what I did with the bergamot!

              2. re: sylcha

                I saw them somewhere a few weeks ago. Had to be either Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Mkt. but I really can't remember.

                If you can't find them, and want to make marmalade anyway, I suggest trying Meyer lemons. I've been making Meyer lemon marmalade for the last several years and it's at least as good as, if not better than, bitter orange. And, even if you don't agree on that point, you'll have some pretty decent marmalade until the next batch of Seville oranges comes around.

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                Berkeley Bowl
                2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                1. re: Gustavo Glenmorangie

                  I had a lot of fun last year playing with citrus fruits and marmalade. Meyer lemon is great, as is a combination of Meyer lemon and regular lemons.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I imagine that a combination of Seville Oranges and Meyer Lemons would be very interesting in a Marmalade.

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      I've tried Meyers and blood oranges together. Didn't like it as much as Meyer lemons alone (or Meyer lemons with vanilla seeds).

                      1. re: Gustavo Glenmorangie

                        Both Meyer lemons and blood oranges are low acid for citrus. I'll bet if you threw in a Eureka lemon it would bring the flavors into focus. I also found that the flavors sometimes continue to develop in the jar -- I made some orange ginger marmalade that didn't seem very gingery initially, but when I opened up a jar a couple of weeks later, the ginger was quite pronounced.

                        Oh geez. Now I want to make marmalade!

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          The Moro variety of blood orange is very tart. Tarocco and Sanguinello are sweet.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            How did you handle the ginger? Grated? Diced? Roughly how much ginger did you use?

                            This sounds good and I'm thinking about trying a batch with ginger and Meyer lemons.

                            1. re: Gustavo Glenmorangie

                              Peeled and minced. I used this recipe: http://www.foodinjars.com/2009/03/ora...

                        2. re: Tripeler

                          Warming up the food processor and heading to the backyard meyer lemon tree after I visit the bowl, BRB.

                        3. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I just finished making the marmalade from the NYT last week. Called for blood oranges and meyer lemons. I have the lemons and got the blood oranges at Berkeley Bowl. Wow is it ever great!!

                          -----
                          Berkeley Bowl
                          2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                    2. re: rworange

                      De Santis may be the farm you're thinking of. It sells at Alemany, Santa Rosa, and other farmers markets. It does grow Seville oranges but the season was over by Chinese New Year (Feb 3).

                    3. In addition to Alemany, I've seen them at 22nd and Irving the past few weeks.

                      Just curious, are Seville oranges too bitter to eat unless cooked and sweetened?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bigwheel042

                        Seville juice is very tart. The peel is what's bitter.

                      2. thanks to bigwheel042, i've found seville oranges at 22nd and irving this morning. i've also taken some meyer lemons under advisement of gustavo. i'll also try my recipe with them after.

                        in fact, it's the first time i cook seville oranges and i was very surprised about the huge number of pips in those oranges. almost more seeds than pulp !!! is it always the case with this variety ?

                        by the way, thanks to everyone here ! orange marmelade and salted butter on toasts for breakfast... that's yummy ;-)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: sylcha

                          The real deal is marmalade and olive oil--your very best--on a rustic-bread toast for breakfast. Seriously. It's the reason I make marmalade and my favorite use for my best olive oils. Save the other stuff for salads and the like.

                          Not Brit-style, but way beyond good.

                          1. re: sylcha

                            Seville oranges are very seedy. People used to think the seeds contributed to their high pectin content, but that's actually due to the pith and membranes.

                            Meyer lemon pith and membrane also has tons of pectin - I use it in nearly every marmalade I make (except for Seville, actually). Natural pectin is much better than even liquid pectin (which is the next best thing).

                            Congratulations on your successful orange marmalade! There's really nothing like it, is there?

                          2. The juice is so sour it can be used in place of lemon juice, as in to make lemon curd.

                            I also use them to make Vin D'Orange (white wine and vodka infused with the oranges and spices).

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kmah

                              Seville orange juice (or naranja agria in Spanish) is the basis for true Cuban mojo de ajo, the traditional garlicky marinade for pollo asado or lechon asado (roast chicken or pork).

                            2. Just called Berkeley Bowl West. The person in the produce department I spoke with said both BBs have Seville oranges today.

                              Don't clean them out before I get there, anyone! ;)

                              -----
                              Berkeley Bowl
                              2020 Oregon St, Berkeley, CA 94703

                              Berkeley Bowl West
                              920 Heinz Ave, Berkeley, CA