OUR FRUIT - Bitter orange (citrus aurentium)
The bitter orange, also called Seville orange, is an entirely distinct species originating from China, like the sweet orange. Taken to the Arabs by the Persians, the bitter orange was brought back from Palestine by crusaders. Its cultivation in Europe largely is much earlier than that of the sweet orange.
The Seville orange is smaller than the sweet orange, with rough skin and acid and bitter pulp, and contains a lot of seeds.
The Seville orange tree is mainly used for grafting – from seedlings – citrus species cultivated for fruit production. This choice is justified by its robust and hardy root system.
The bitter orange, which packs quite a punch when eaten fresh, has specific taste qualities that make it very popular for jams (in a mix) and marmalades. True orange marmalade is prepared solely with bitter oranges.
The zest, very subtle, is an essential ingredient for cordials, bitter aperitifs, Cap Corse, Grand Marnier and Cointreau.
The flowers are larger and more fragrant than those of sweet oranges. Orange blossom floral water is used for perfumes.
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