As part of efforts to inject new life into decades of tradition, Hugh Elliott presented the mayor of Seville, José Luis Sanz, with jars of marmalade that he had made himself with oranges plucked from a 500 year old tree in the fragrant gardens of the Alcázar royal palace.
In the past he has sent marmalade to Buckingham Palace but this time he was keen that the oranges should return to the Alcázar, transformed into diplomatic gold.
Speaking at the first Hay Forum in Seville, Mr Sanz admitted: “I don’t usually like marmalade but I have to say that this one has ‘un toque especial’ [a special touch]. It is sweeter than other marmalades. From tomorrow, it will become part of my family breakfast table.”
This coast, from Portimao through to Seville, is infested with orange trees. And they don’t make marmalade here. The word itself means something differeint in Portuguese, more like a paste of quince. You can, sometimes and sometimes only, find orange jam in the supermarkets – as you can tomato jam and carrot jam – but marmalade not so much. Sometimes even an “amarga” orange jam which is a “dry” or perhaps “sour” version which becomes close.
But marmalade itself is a British thing. Made from Seville oranges, yes, from oranges grown here often enough even today. But not made here.
Forreign’s different, see?