End of the known world!

There is a definite lack of sustenance in this world, it is definitely coming to a non bitter end. I doubt many of you have noticed but it is the demise of the Seville orange.

Have you actually tried to buy any lately for marmalade production?  They used to be freely available in January, not any more.  Even in 2000 when I had my shop one had to book them with the wholesalers well in advance.  I rarely could get my hands on more than 100lbs or so and used to have a waiting list for orders against them.  When I first got here one could buy them locally in an upmarket supermarket.  Now there are none to be had in the whole bloody county.

Fortunately I have a friend who has a flower stall in the famed Pikes Place market in Seattle, I got her to order some with a fruit merchant there.  She was rationed to 5lbs only!  Next year I anticipate going to worship at the only tree left in California!

And, no Christopher, I do not want alternative Dorset recipes made from guavas and toenail clippings!  Nothing else will do but Seville oranges!  I wonder why this awful situation has come to pass.  Do people no longer make marmalade and use that disgusting sweet stuff from the shops that passes for the real thing?  Have all the trees died from climate change?  Who knows.

Definitely presages the end of the world as one knows it, time to fall off one’s twig methinks before it gets any worse.

PS, I note my earlier bitch about the rampancy of plastic sarcophagii  entombing screaming dying veg in British supermarkets last autumn has finally been aired in the British papers.  If people stripped it and threw it on the supermarket floor, they would soon stop using it!  Perhaps one could solve all the above problems by being buried in a plastic coffin or just mummification with plain shrink wrap might do!

Author: christinaosborne

Landed on one side safely.

14 thoughts on “End of the known world!”

  1. CO: Tsk, tsk. One thing you ought to have figured out about me at this point is that I do not like cutting corners when it comes to food. True, on occasion one must improvise — but that should be the child of necessity, not volition. Marmalade requires a balance of tartness and sweetness that only Seville oranges can properly provide. Nota bene, Dorset is too cold for guava and toenail clipping jam. That is a west Devon and Cornwall speciality. We must make do with passion fruit and fingernail clipping jam.

  2. Luverly, thanks for the laugh and the warning. Note to self, do not stop in West Country!

  3. I was once 3rd Mate on a ship (M/V Villegas – MacAndrews )when we carried Seville oranges from Seville to Bristol up the Avon. As we were a little short-handed I went on the wheel during the Pilotage. Not many people have done that.
    The orange boxes were in open stow and the Spanish stevedores made a fine job of the stow. This was in the days of Franco when Spain was definitely worth visiting.

  4. Just taken delivery of home made Seville orange marmalade from industrious rellies in Oxfordshire. No mention of lack of said variety, but they do shop at Aldi and Lidl somewhat embarrassingly!
    Tastes yummy, not too sweet.
    Like the England v. Oz ODI result 😉
    “We’re going to win 5-4”

  5. Maybe the shortage is only in the USA where very few make their own jams, jellies and condiments. I’ve never heard of seville oranges being used for anything else.

  6. If I remember correctly, when I were a lad we had Jaffa oranges, and then Outspan. Not for marmalade, I suppose.

  7. No, sweet oranges do not cook well, seem to lose their flavour and go nondescript, must be the sour variety. I have never heard of any other sour orange except the Seville. Which are totally impossible to eat raw, quite disgusting.
    Interestingly most fruit is lb for lb with sugar to make jam, Seville oranges are 2 lbs of sugar to 1 lb of oranges and it still ain’t sweet!
    The only other recipes I have ever come across where 2lbs of sugar were needed were WWII recipes using wild hedgerow berries, but then you couldn’t get the sugar to make them, I’ve tried a few of those recipes for experimental fun in Wales, quite inedible, straight down the drain and back to potato pie!

  8. Our lady, who has a local organic veggie shop and who provides us each year with her homemade Seville orange marmalade, has had the bloody effrontery to take off in her mobile home and go driving round Europe for the next year or so. So much for valued customer service relations then. (Sniff) I s’pose I should mention in her favour, that she did leave us with a supply of a substitute made from blood oranges to tide us over though but, as we haven’t come to the end of the supply of last years Seville, we have yet to sample it.


    I had a look at a picture of the Villegas. It looks an unusual accommodation and hatch layout for a general cargo ship, more like a tanker. Was it three holds or four?

  9. James Leck: Villegas built in Breman had three hatches. She was also a shelter decker, there was a tonnage hatch beneath that overhang at the break of the poop. She had two MWM Diesels (like wot they put in U boats) geared down to one prop. She could run on one engine at about 11kts or on two at a good 14kts. She had a really crappy Marconi ‘Quo Vadis’ radar. I recall in bad weather coming on watch one morning to find the Mate hanging onto the radar which had broken it’s wooden pedestal free from the deck. I told him to let it go on the basis that they might refit us with something better. He being a company man wouldn’t do that, and we secured it with some signal halyard.
    Villegas had a few sister ships a couple in United Baltic (Baltic Arrow) and one in MacAndrews (Vives).
    I expect that’s as much information as anybody wants, this not being a marine forum. Below is the link tons picture of Villegas discharging oranges at Bristol about two years before I joined her. http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/166865/title/villegas/cat/517

  10. Also ! Note the joggled plates, an expensive form of construction usually from continental yards.

  11. There is in fact a sour orange, sometimes carelessly called “bitter” or even “Seville” orange, that grows in the Western Hemisphere, from the extreme southern border of the USA through Central America and right on down into South America. So far as I know, it’s not used in preserves but only as an ingredient, a cupful or two of the juice being used to liven up such things as stewed pork, especially in Mexican cooking.

    Janus: “Talk nauti,” indeed! I love it!

    Jazz: I for one am very interested in things maritime. Maybe it’s some kind of hereditary thing (I’m half Swedish). I’ve been known to say that I was “raised in a rowboat.” Some sort of connection with the sea has run in the family for at least the two generations before me. My grandfather was an engineering officer in the Merchant Marine until he was beached by an injury sustained when abandoning his torpedoed ship. My father was in the Army, where he stayed on dry land – and also, more importantly, out of front line duty – by virtue of being made (in a rare flash of military insight, actually using knowledge acquired as a civilian) an officer in charge of loading cargo ships.

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