Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sicilian Blood Orange-Bergamot-Lisbon Lemon Marmalade

Finally this week I ran out of the last of the high summer preserved fruits. Through the chilly, rainy San Francisco winter, it was nice to have a physical remnant that somewhere, at some time, there was a bright, cloudless sky.

The first strawberries appeared this week, but probably I'll wait for high berry time when spring swings through the door. Instead I focused again on citrus, taking cues from the offerings at the DeSantis stand.
Tarocco Sicilian blood oranges were $2/lb; I picked up four. For the first time ever I saw bergamot in its natural state: an Italian citrus about the size of an orange with yellow skin and that distinctive smell you'll recognize from Earl Grey tea.
The price looked intimidating: $15/lb? I bought one, thinking it would be $3 or $4; it was $8. Yes, I bought an $8 orange. And then I walked around the market saying "Look at my $8 bergamot!"

Marco told me to check out the Lisbon lemons at Twin Girls Farm. I bought six of the small, dense, exceptionally tart lemons for $1.

Second verse, same as the first: I used the same basic recipe as last week, but the result is a bombastic pink concoction supporting thin strips of bergamot. Oh, you know I used every little bit of that $8 bergamot, despite the recipe's rule to toss out 2/3 of the skin.The pith on the bergamot was thicker than I expected. With my knife I scraped down the peel, pulling away the white film to reveal the oily plane below.

The taste? The flavor on the bit left over on the spoon was complex: a slow start that breaks into ecstatic, layered sourness. I can't wait to try the cooled marmalade.

1 comment:

cat said...

I am Sicilian. I would like some blood orange marmalade some day.