What is Bitter Orange (Seville Orange)?

Citrus aurantium L.

Bitter orange is a bitter tasting orange, mainly used to produce marmalade or to produce essential oils for the perfume industry.

It’s also known as Seville Orange, Sour Orange, Marmalade Orange or Bigarade Orange.

Bitter orange is grown throughout the mediterranean region. There are many cultivars but the best known is the seville orange, used in the production of marmalade.

Seville oranges are commercially grown in Seville, Spain and are shipped to Britain for marmalade production.

By A. Barra [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Characteristics of seville orange

The seville orange is particularly sour, tart and bitter in flavour and is laden with seeds. It has a thick, dimpled and rough skin, which is deep orange in colour, and clings tightly to the fruit. The skin contains essential oils. It’s comparatively higher in pectin, compared to sweet orange and is therefore very suitable for production of orange marmalade.

By Genet at de.wikipedia [GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0 de], from Wikimedia Commons

Use of seville orange

The fruit is rarely eaten raw but mainly used in production of marmalade.

It is also used for production of orange flavoured liqueurs for example, the famous Cointreau, Curaçao and Grand Marnier.

The bitter orange is also used as a rootstock in groves of sweet orange.

Essential oil extracted from the peel is used in the perfume industry, or as a flavouring agent.

Its flowers produce neroli oil, an essential oil, used in the perfume industry.

The essential oil from its flowers is used to make orange flower water.

myfavouritepastime.com Last Updated: June 16, 2019

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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