Marmalades and Memories: Embracing Blood Oranges

Jams, jelly, and marmalades — all food I remember not liking as I grew up. Maybe because we had Welch’s grape jelly and there was something disgusting about the texture and the icky over sweetness. 

It took a lot of maturity and some wonderful artisan jams, jelly, and marmalades to bring that food back into my refrigerator.

Trader Joe’s has a wonderful apricot jam that is all fruit and no sugar. Who needs sugar when the fruit is picked and used at its peak ripeness?

There used to be a local restaurant called Olivia’s Courtyard where the proprietoress/chef made her own orange marmalade from organic oranges. Unfortunately, it went out of business. Those are the touches that make a restaurant experience special instead of those tacky little packets of pseudo jam.

Today I want to St. Phillip’s Plaza’s Farmers Market in Tucson and slowed my pace around the samples. Tasting samples are always dangerous because things taste good and I feel guilty after a few tastes and often buy things. Today I did succumb to blood orange marmalade. I love blood oranges and since they are a seasonal item, I like them even more as they are a pleasure that can only be enjoyed part of the year.

This jar of blood orange marmalade is from Terra Verde Farms, an Arizona-based farm growing local produce. Being a localvore is a new trend which most likely will stick around for awhile. Since our food supply comes from who-knows-where, more and more people are trying to eat from small local farms.

Blood orange marmalade ingredients: blood oranges, water, sugar, lemon, pectin, bourbon whiskey. It does have a slight kick! And best of all the oranges are chunky and the taste is not overly sweet.

I can see just eating this stuff with a spoon. The woman selling it suggested mixing it with a little butter or oil or mustard and basting a chicken breast. That sounds good but it’s too hot to turn on my oven. I can see mixing it with some plain yogurt or smearing it over almond butter for nice sandwich.

Another flavor I almost bought was the raspberry cocoa marmalade which are two of my favorite flavors blended together but I was certain that I would definitely eat that out of the jar with a spoon.

Then they had roasted green chile sauce. I may get that another time. Green chile sauce is my favorite color of sauce.

I also bought cold brewed iced coffee, a bag of mixed vegetables for stir-fry, lemon cucumbers that are shaped like lemons but taste like a lemony cucumber, and roasted garlic. Then there’s the grassfed beef…but that’s for another post.

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