Coffee & Oranges

Reading The Flavour Thesaurus last night (dear Bloomsbury, please make a waterproof jacket, I read mine in the bath and it is covered in damp thumbprints) I came across the 'Coffee and Orange' entry, which included:
a) a reference to a Sicilian Orange & Coffee Marmalade made by San Matteo, which led on to
b) a stonking recipe that involves studding an orange with 44 coffee beans and drowning it in brandy. 
So obviously I have to try both. The recipe is not even remotely a marmalade, but it is an orange preserve, so it's definitely a legitimate diversion.

But first, I have to find this orange and coffee marmalade. It is made in Sicily on an organic farm ‘nestled between the enchanting Gulf of Taormina and Mount Etna’ and the farmer uses wheat syrup instead of sugar, which is interesting.

Finding the website is easy enough, but then I fall at the first hurdle, as they ship from a warehouse in the Bronx and don’t deliver to the UK, even though it's much nearer. No fair. So I send them an email, which doesn't get me very far, as they don't know if it is available here. So I may have to to get my friend in Boston to order it and send it on, which is quite a lot of work for a jar of marmalade. If anyone knows of a UK stockist, please do let me know.

Proof that everyone has something to say about marmalade, No. 2:
Lunch with Juliet (see 9 Feb entry). Over the course of a single meal, she told me the thing about orange being the colour for 2012, and two more things about marmalade:

1) She’d had a conversation with a colleague two days beforehand about whether it's true that only men like dark, thick-cut marmalade. (Not true, I'm sure. But am delighted that people discuss marmalade at work.)

2) That she’d once come home from work to find her then husband admiring several batches of marmalade that he’d spent the day making. He’d worked his way through several different varieties – thin-cut, medium-cut, thick-cut, marmalade with whisky, etc - which would have been fine, except that he was supposed to be working on a PhD and this was his way of avoiding it. So marmalade can now add 'diversion tactic' to its list of fine qualities.

This is why this blog is so easy. I say the word ‘marmalade’ and people provide me with reams of unsolicited material, all of it entertaining.

On that note, I’ll finish with two assertions, in the hope that someone will write in, disgusted, outraged or otherwise provoked.

1) As discussed above, only men like thick-cut, dark marmalade - the sort that needs gouging out of the jar with a strong spoon and has to be balanced in lumps on the toast. 
2) Marmalade is fundamentally more interesting than jam. Discuss.


Kelly Ferguson said…
I have always liked dark, chunky marmalade the best, and I am not, nor have I ever been male! In fact, I made my own dark, chunky grapefruit marmalade last winter, using dark brown sugar, which made it even darker and more treacly. I am letting one jar age, to see just how good it gets after time.

And, re: making marmalade as way to procrastinate is also something I can relate to. I started making it in graduate school. Now I just make it to avoid doing housework.

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