Organic Sicilian Mandarin Marmalade from Marchesi di San Giuliano
As seen in the December 2009 Food and Wine.
The eastern coast of Sicily is home to some of the Mediterranean's most fertile lands, with warm summers and cool winters that make are ideal for citrus growing. And that's precisely what the Marchesi Castello di San Giuliano and his family have been doing for 800 years.
In the late 1980s, noticing that some of the fertilizers that had become commonplace in Sicily were producing fruit that lacked the color and flavor to which they'd become accustomed, the family returned to organic farming methods. Now all of their fruit is grown this way once again and the quality of their jams is unmistakable.
The recipe for the marmalade has remained unchanged for generations, and it is made entirely by hand in small batches using only the finest of the freshly picked fruit. The mandarins are sliced and marinated in cold water overnight. On the second day, the sliced fruit is drained and set to marinate again overnight in water and raw sugar cane. The third day, the fruit is slowly cooked down with sugar and juice. No thickeners or preservatives are ever used. The high proportion of fruit, combined with natural ingredients and strict production standards, ensure that San Giuliano marmalades have traditional flavor and texture.
The best and simplest way to enjoy this Sicilian citrus marmalade is on toast with a smear of sweet butter. The richness of butter and the bittersweet tang of marmalade is a tried-and-true combination.
Featured in these recipes: