One of my favorite breakfasts is a few slices of toasted wholegrain bread (preferably speckled with walnuts and dried cranberries) slathered with crunchy almond butter and a thin (well, not that thin) gloss of marmalade.
When we were in Sicily and tasted homemade marmalade at breakfast during one of our farm stays (at an agriturismo hotel), I found the thick slices of lemon and orange irresistible. The blood orange marmalade deserved to be in a category of its own: it was so good. We loaded up on Sicilian marmalade and carted it home and once it was eaten, I went back to buying good quality jams.
Now in the UK, I feel like I’ve rediscovered marmalade. You can see from the empty bottle that I enjoyed the ginger marmalade in the picture–a very good idea to mix ginger and orange!–and I’m sad it’s just about gone. But I have a nice back-up with the lime and lemon marmalade on the right (“made in small batches”, they claim), tho looking closer I see that it’s medium-cut and I’m a thick-cut kinda girl.
I’m looking forward to re-reading C. Anne Wilson’s THE BOOK OF MARMALADE when I get home. She a terrific researcher and she’ll fill me in on everything I want to know about the history of marmalade in the UK.
Now I’m wondering who invented marmalade: the perfect way to preserve citrus fruit. Was it the Sicilians or the Scottish (and where did they grow all those oranges?) or maybe the Arabs? Or was it a case of simultaneous invention?