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Dec 13, 2013 11:05 PM

Seeking special ingredients

A distant cousin in Stockholm has sent me an English language Swedish cookbook and I'm getting more into Swedish dishes for my Julbord this year. I'm looking for some Seville/bitter orange peel for Vortlimpa, the spiced, Swedish beer bread (rye) consumed on Christmas eve, and whole salt herring so I can make my own herring dishes.

I guess Phoenicia is the best bet for both of these but just thought I'd ask. I've already looked in a couple of grocery stores for the orange peel, just in case, but to no avail.


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  1. IF Phoenicia has the herring, it will be on the first end cap to the right when you walk in or on the adjacent shelf, if tinned, or on the far right of the deli case in the back if "fresh".

    I know the have herring, just not sure if it's the right style.

    I'm also pretty sure they'll have orange peel, but not sure if will be exactly what you're looking for. Same with Penzey's.

    Good luck and let's know if and where you find it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DoobieWah

      I know the spot you're talking about - always the first place my cart stops - but I don't think they'll have it there; I'll check it out. Hadn't thought about Penzey's !

    2. I wonder if June Taylor would have the bitter orange peel.

      1. Last time I needed an orange peel, I ordered it from Amazon, really.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Lambowner

          I suspect that's exactly what I'm looking for since I don't expect to find the oranges themselves here. Surely someone locally has that, though. Thanks.

          1. re: brucesw

            Fiesta very often, in fact usually, has the Seville/bitter oranges. They are used all the time in Mexican recipes, and are a main component in Cochinita Pibil, the national dish of the Yucatan. In fact, it's the main component of the dish, except for the protein, of course. You marinate pork in Seville orange juice, and annatto and a other few spices, for several hours, then wrap it up in banana leaves and bury it in a smoking pit (the 'pibil').

            Obviously, several parts of this recipe are difficult to transfer to the average US kitchen, including the bitter oranges, so most North American recipes call for juice of oranges and lemons or limes, or maybe a little vinegar, to approximate the taste of bitter oranges. But Seville oranges are very often available at Mexican markets all over the country. Certainly at Fiesta.

            Naturally, after I say this, they'll be out of stock for the next six years. But I see them all the time at our Fiesta at Katy. And that's sure where I'd suggest you look for them.

            1. re: Jaymes

              Thanks. I looked in the produce section at that upscale Fiesta Market Place in Sugar Land that has become a regular stop for me and through all the spice selections in their international foods aisles (neglected to look in the regular spice section, though) and did not see them. I'll check the big 'ol Fiesta on Hillcroft @ Bellaire.

              The recipe actually calls for the skin of 6 Seville oranges, boiled and minced.

              ETA: That SL Fiesta is the least oriented toward a Hispanic clientele than any I've ever been in. This ain't your abuelita's Fiesta.

              1. re: brucesw

                I just called the produce department at the Fiesta here in Katy and the man said that they have "plenty."

                Don't know if you want to make a trip up here... In fact, what I think I'd do if I were you would be to get on the phone and call around to some Fiestas closer to you and see if they have them. It's hard to imagine that the one is Katy is the only one that has them. It is citrus season, after all.

                But, if all else fails, come on up to Katy.

                And, after you make your Swedish dish, you can make a little bitter orange marmalade. It's Christmas, you know, and I'm sure you're looking for something appropriate to gift all of your Chowhound friends.

                Are you not?

                1. re: Jaymes

                  Gah! What a lifesaver. I was thinking I should have everybody over for my Julbord but this will be so much less hassle.

                  Little jars of orange jelly it is!