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Tell me about sour oranges

 
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I've been experimenting with growing citrus in the northwest, and one that has shown promise has been sour oranges of various kinds (Chinotto and Seville). I have a few that are growing really well, in an unheated greenhouse. I know I saw mature ones in parts of Italy in areas that get fairly cold.


Is the juice good? What's the Marmelade like? What else can anyone tell me? It's very exciting, that any citrus is doing well here
 
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I'm excited for you. The seville oranges are very sour, you need a lot of sugar to make them palatable, but well worth it!

We look forwards to the arrival of seville ornages every year. I would gladly be able to grow them! These are the oranges usually used for making marmalade. I usually make a thin shred jelly marmalade since that is what my husband prefers, but not too sweet. They were early arriving this year - we got the first oranges in the shop before Xmas, which has not happened before.

Marmalade-Oranges-peeled-ready-for-chopping-stainless-maslin-pan
Oranges peeled ready for chopping

Finely-chopped-seville-orange-marmalade-peel
Finely chopped peel

My first lot has turned out just a bit soft set, certainly not suitable for the marmalade awards. I'll hopefully do another two batches at least.
 
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James, how cold do your winters get?  I'm jealous!
 
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I have two sour citruses... I don't know if you can call them oranges or not. One is closer to the yuzu I think.

Anyway I'm pretty sure they are shimanto-bushukan and konatsu.

Both are pretty sour, though I can just munch into a shimanto-bushukan when it's fully ripe and enjoy it. I haven't tried making marmalade from either yet, but I really like to juice them green like limes and drink with soda or water and salt, like a power drink, they're green in summer here, so it's pretty refreshing.

I wanted to make konatsu marmalade this winter... I will put that on my to-do list for tomorrow.

I also have a kumquat tree. It's delightful. We eat the fruit off the tree and I often make marmalade from it. It's ripening up now.
 
James Landreth
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Greg Martin wrote:James, how cold do your winters get?  I'm jealous!




Zone 8, down to the mid teens at night but only rarely. The greenhouse helps a lot even unheated. I can grow all sorts of things in there!
 
L. Johnson
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Ah another fun use for sour citrus - hummus tahini!

I made hummus this morning with some of our konatsu. I was actually blown away at how sweet the flavor was. I think the fruit had been sitting on the window sill for a week or so getting kind of wrinkly. I guess the sugars condensed or something. The sweetness was balanced out with other flavors, but I tasted the sesame paste/citrus blend before adding chickpeas and it was kind of like eating sweet sesame cake icing.
 
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In a previous house here (zone 9b, we get a few frosts each year) I had a sour orange, at first I was disappointed when I picked the first harvest and realized they weren't sweet, but my cousin appeared, said they were her favorite, and proceeded to eat 3! As it turns out they make fabulous juice and good marmelade. I didn't find them quite sweet enough to substitute for lemon or lime, but they made excellent baked goods, as well as that candied orange business (cooked in a syrup type thing).
 
L. Johnson
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Sorry for my sporadic responses... my brain is kind of fried recently. But I remembered yet another wonderful use for sour citruses.

Guacamole.

Speaking of that. I've had a lot of avocado trees sprouting in my compost... I need to find a better place for them to grow. Maybe my grandchildren can find a decent fruit from one of them.

Basically you can use them anywhere people use lemon or lime, though the flavor differs.

 
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