Culinary no-no #683


Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

My first time was at a Holiday Inn near Santa Barbara, California.

While eating breakfast in the hotel my server brought a small tray filled with those tiny sealed jars of preserves. Orange  marmalade? Hmm. Never had that before. Think I’ll spread some on my sourdough toast. I had avoided the stuff for a long time, opting instead for the usual strawberry or grape. But I enjoyed my new choice and have been eating it ever since.

My wife on the other hand gags at the very thought. Won’t even try it for a million dollar spree at Tiffany’s. Well, you know what I mean.

What’s the problem? Those orange peels used to make the spread.

Jennifer is not alone. Our Sunday post-church stop is usually Meyer’s in Greenfield. COVID has changed operations. No longer is there a dish on the table loaded with a variety of jams and jellies. Your server will ask you what you want after you’ve made your toast election.

One Sunday when I asked for orange marmalade the waitress remarked, “Sure, we’ve got plenty. Nobody orders it” (True confession. Even if I’m having raisin toast I still request the marmalade so I can sneak some home).

So what gives? What’s the problem?

Would it come as a shock if I told you millennials shun marmalade. Sales for the under-28 crowd have been going down for years. Too busy smearing avocado on their toast.

Yes, it’s an age thing. Too uncool for the younger crowd, so 6 out of 10 marmalade purchasers are over 65.

What about the taste?

Freelance food writer and photographer Melissa Kronenthal is no fan.

“Over time, I’ve learned to keep the fact that I don’t like marmalade to myself. That’s because whoever I tell claims I just haven’t tried the right one yet. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been given jars of marmalade by well-meaning friends and acquaintances in an attempt to show me the error of my marmalade-hating ways. I probably hold the world record for the amount of artisan kaffir lime and pomelo-ginger marmalades I’ve chucked in the trash.

“It’s not that I haven’t tried to like it. Believe me, I have. I spent seven years in Britain, the country that invented the peel-and-pulp preserve, trying to see what everyone sees in the stuff. But for the life of me I can’t; why ruin the flavor of a perfectly delicious citrus fruit by cooking it with its acrid, bitter rind? I mean, we don’t just chomp into unpeeled oranges, do we?”

For another perspective let’s bring in journalist Peter Ormerod. He writes in the Guardian:

You see, good marmalade, endowed with hefty chunks of peel, is everything that bad food isn’t. In terms of flavor, it walks the tightrope between bitter and sweet with grace; in terms of texture, each mouthful is alive with possibility; in terms of ingredients, it is simple and natural. Marmalade at breakfast is refreshing, invigorating, sharp; marmalade at tea is comforting, warming, restful; marmalade before bed is thrilling, subversive, transcendent. It is not a jam; it is not a spread; it is marmalade, and there is literally nothing in the world like it.”

But Mr. Ormerod, there are folks like my wife.

“I think I understand why its wonders are not necessarily obvious to everyone. You see, you have to persevere with marmalade. You try it when you’re small because you think it’s going to be like orange jelly, and you hate it because it’s nothing at all like orange jelly. In this world of instant gratification, when you don’t even need to wait for complete games to load,  it’s easy then to disregard it and just move on to foodstuffs whose appeal is more immediate. But imagine if you did the same with wine, just because it doesn’t taste like grapes.”

This past week Jennifer bought a jar of Smucker’s orange marmalade because as it turns out, Daddy’s girl Kyla now likes it, too.

So in conclusion the no-no would be avoiding this tasty spread.

Why every home should have a marmalade day.


Bradford Beach controversy

Disney’s secret hot dog

Resisting Girl Scout cookies not easy

ICYMI, Culinary no-no #682

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s