Citrus love

Some dream of riches, others of world domination. I am happy with moving from place to place with walks out of the house to pick something edible in between. Preferably my beloved fruit. A quick trip to the garden to obtain some oranges straight from the tree is my idea of paradise. So, in the paradise we are. Since December, our main staple when it comes to fruit is oranges. We still haven’t had enough! We are also surprised how long the season is – even now in April the trees are still bearing fruit and flowering! Some varieties finish, while other begin and the lemon tree in the garden of our hosts’ son is loaded non-stop. He’s run out of ideas what to do with them, so we decided to help and juice two baskets of lemons (a drop in the ocean) to make lemonade concentrate which we mix with water whenever we fancy a glass.

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Bitter oranges (called Seville oranges outside of Greece), a fancy and sought after product in the north, here often end up unloved under the trees. I am trying to save ours, rolling the spoon sweets or making marmalade.

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Not far from our place lies the Fodele village, a true citrus center where the cooperative also stocks up in oranges. We went there for the orange festival and drowned in the smell of millions of blossoms, walked along the orchards stealing tangerines that stuck out over the fence and got a bit nauseous from all the orange treats available.

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How many ways are there to process the citrus? Spoon sweets, marmalades, raki, orange water, jellies, nut pralines, semolina desserts and all sort of cakes and biscuits including the one and only portokalopita or soft, elastic layers of filo dough soaked in orange syrup. Why on earth haven’t I baked it yet?

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