Bitter Orange Seeds (Citrus aurantium)
Price for Package of 5 seeds.
Bitter orange, Seville orange, sour orange, bigarade orange, or marmalade orange refers to a citrus tree (Citrus × aurantium) and its fruit.
These bitter orange trees are used purely for decoration, as their fruit is too bitter to be eaten raw. They can survive in cold/low temperatures where sweet orange trees do not grow, even in highly urbanised settings. When they are in flower, they mask the polluted air of the city with the sweet smell of their blossom; when the oranges take on their bright colour, they look similar to a Christmas tree. Christmas is when they look their best.
"Their strength against harsh weather conditions and sicknesses, their fragrant flowers and their beautiful fruits, are some of the reasons why these trees are often planted in the urban centres of Greece in order to embellish the urban spaces. However, these 'urban' bitter oranges are rarely harvested by the citizens, due to the polluted environment of the cities and due to the fact that the origin of food is usually connected to its production in the rural space."
But the fruit of these trees, despite being too bitter to eat raw, can be used in a number of ways:
"After a certain procedure and with the addition of sugar, it is often used for the making of marmalades and sweets. Also, the leaves, the flowers and the skin, due to their fragrance are used for the making of confectioneries, in alcoholic beverages and in aromatology."
In Crete, the juice of the bitter orange can be used to flavour dishes or to marinate meat and fish, in the same way as lemons. Bitter orange juice is also used as a curing treatment and preservation for olives. The peel of the fruit can be dried and candied, to be used as dried fruit in sweets, pies, savouries and salads. But most of the time, the peel is turned into a typical Greek dessert known as the γλυκό του κουταλιού, the spoon sweet, where an array of bitter or under-ripe fruits are turned into a syrupy dessert.