Marmalade June 3, 2012Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Fruit.
As you’ve probably worked out by now, I’ll pretty much eat anything. I’ll definitely try anything, at least twice. Like everyone, I’ve overcome childhood dislikes and some of my most hated foods are now my most liked. However, some things I’m still not sure about. One of these, slightly bizarrely, is marmalade.
Due to a glut of fruit, I thought it was about time I tried making marmalade. Before I made this batch, I couldn’t actually remember the last time I’d eaten it. It had certainly been several years. Therefore, I was quite optimistic when making this batch. It was homemade! It had no strange preservatives! The fruit would speak for itself! And so on.
So I started, chopping the fruit (both oranges and mandarins), peeling off the pith and retaining the skin.
I made sure to pull of all the pith from the individual mandarin segments, and also kept the seeds. I scraped the back of the skin with the back of my knife to remove as much of the remaining pith as possible. I finely sliced the peel and wrapped up the pith and seeds in a clean cloth (they are high in pectin and therefore help the marmalade set). I added equal quantities of sugar and water and put the whole lot on the stove.
I stirred until the sugar had dissolved and then heated it until it boiled. I was so excited! It certainly smelled nice and not awful at all. I was careful to not let it boil too quickly, and after several hours I was rewarded with a much thicker, darker concoction.
I tested a little bit by putting it on a saucer I’d left in the freezer, and was pleased to see that when I ran my finger through it, it had well and truly set. I had previously prepared my bottles by putting them in a warm oven for about 30 minutes; now, I filled them while they and the marmalade were still warm and let them cool together.
I was still excited at this point. The marmalade had set nicely, and I spread some on a slice of my cracked wheat bread to try it.
And, the moment of truth: Yeah. It tasted exactly as I remembered, which was not a good thing. I can’t actually put into words the expression that was on my face when I tried this. I find marmalade both too sweet and too bitter at the same time, both cloying and sharp. On the plus side, I am now quite convinced I don’t likeall marmalades, instead of a particular brand or type of marmalade.
While I won’t stop trying different childhood dislikes, I will now approach them with the thought that while some may no longer be dislikes and I may now actually enjoy them, others will firmly stay in the realm of horror and disgust.