what: Blood Orange Marmalade
cost: $8 a jar
where: Simply Citrus Nursery, Soda City Market
Local hobby gardeners looking to add satsuma or citron to their backyard are very familiar with Ben and Mary Salley — Columbia’s citrus savants who grow and sell lemons, limes, navel oranges, mandarin oranges, kumquats and other varieties by the tree. While Ben’s forte is cultivars and best practices for planting, Mary’s jam is using the pulp and peel of ripe fruit to make top notch marmalade.
After I dipped multiple pretzel sticks in a rainbow of sweet and tart flavors, the jar that got its forever home in my fridge was the blood orange. The ruby red Sanguinelli blood orange marmalade tastes like the love child of an orange and a raspberry and became instant besties with a fresh loaf of pane francese (the baguette’s Italian fratello) procured from Crust Bakehouse. Test No. 2 was cinnamon toast followed by a playdate with a wheel of brie that went swimmingly. The next morning a spoonful stirred into a cup of Siggi’s coconut flavored skyr (Icelandic style yogurt) provided razzle dazzle. French toast — you got next!
The secret to great marmalade, according to Mary, is the freshness of the fruit.
“It’s really got a good flavor when it comes right off the tree and doesn’t spend weeks in the grocery store,” she explains.
Catch team Salley hawking their jars of citrus treasure at Soda City or the annual plant sale at the State Farmers Market.