Old-fashioned and tired? I think they’re taking the pith!

by Jeremy Miles

I was horrified to hear that that nectar of the Gods known as marmalade has fallen out of fashion. Latest figures show that sales are down by more than six per cent and that people would rather eat honey, jam or even peanut butter for breakfast.

The first of our 2012 marmalade

The first of our 2012 marmalade – Photo Hattie Miles

Are they sure? Could it not be that marmalade sales have simply been hit by armies of  people rushing to make their own? After all Seville oranges (the quintessential marmalade fruit)  are in the shops right now and are easy-peasy to turn into unbelievably delicious marmalade. You just need to add water, sugar a few lemons and a modicum of skill and you’ll have jars of the stuff. Of course marmalade can be made from any citrus fruit but orange is the one for me.

The first batch of the year is already in our kitchen cupboard. The second is bubbling away right now – a cauldron of molten orange delight slowly thickening on the hob.

As you have probably realised I absolutely love the stuff so I’m a little alarmed that the not knowingly trendy trade magazine The Grocer reports that marmalade has an image of being “old-fashioned and tired.”

What do they know? Since when has The Grocer set the agenda for what’s hot an happening? No, I reckon marmalade is beyond fashion. It’s been around in Britain since the late 15th century. It’s a classic!

The name by the way comes originally from the word marmelado – which is Portugese for a quince preserve.

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