‘Tis the Season of the Marmalade!

January to February on Egyptian farms and in gardens, larang or narang (bitter orange) are gathered to make sweet, pungent marmalade. This year is no difference. My seasonal gift of bitter oranges comes from the generosity of Bayt Hewison, Fayoum. This is my 12th season to receive such abundance!

The making of marmalade is a two-day process and my house smells of orange fragrances for many more days. Hours spent slicing and dicing the orange rind into slivers leave my fingers and hands tingling. The rind slivers rejoin the juice and after a few hours of boiling and simmering the liquid, I pour the hot marmalade into sterile glass jars. The jars go into a hot bath. As the the marmalade cools a suction between liquid and cap occurs and I satisfactory listen to the pop of each sealed jar. Waiting time is for 24-hours before I know if the marmalade sets. Will the pectin that I so carefully scraped from the rinds, soaked, boiled and sieved, be enough to make a jam-like consistency? (See process here.)

Below (posted on Instagram) is an interesting explanation of the etymology of the word ‘orange‘ from across the world.

Celebrating Marmalade

All Photographs and text are under international copyright laws. No re-use without the written permission of Lesley Lababidi 2023.

11 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season of the Marmalade!

  1. It looks delicious — and I know for a fact that it tastes even better than it looks. Thank you for once more turning my laring into chef’s-kiss marmalade!

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Actually, I don’t have a recipe. Maybe this is why every year my marmalade is different. My mother and grandmother always made various seasonal jams for year so drawing on their canning expertise is how I make marmalade. Early on, I did discover from marmalade makers in the UK that one can freeze the whole oranges so the marmalade can be made fresh throughout the year. I looked at some recipes on line and possibly the BBC recipe is a good basic recipe.
      Thank you for your interest, it is always great to hear from you. L.

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