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A gold winner recipe

Dubrovnik Bitter Orange - a traditional scent of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik bitter oranges have always had a special place in the gardens of Dubrovnik. These trees and their fruits form a classic motif, leaning on stone walls and gloriets in the courtyards of renaissance monastery gardens and summer residences.

Today, as you enter the Old Town through either the Pile or Ploče Gate, Dubrovnik bitter orange trees welcome you from the gardens where they grow naturally along the stone walls: These mighty trees reach their full glory in autumn and winter when their evergreen branches are crowned with exceptional orange fruit.

So if you happen to be in Dubrovnik during this period, you will notice that the Old City is traditionally cloaked with laurel wreaths decorated with bitter oranges.

Have you ever tried them?
Although it is quite similar in appearance to the sweet orange, the bitter orange has substantially higher acidity and a characteristic aroma of ground leaves.

A gold winner - Bitter orange jam as an authentic Dubrovnik product and souvenir

… perfect for early mornings with a slice of homemade bread and butter...
… perfect for afternoons during tea time with crackers...
… perfect for filling home-made pancakes or any type of cake...
….perfect to turn a grey winter morning into a special day!

Savoury, highly flavourful bittersweet treat - no one can resist a bitter orange marmalade. 

Maybe it is the colour, maybe it’s the slightly bitter taste, but it’s the perfect match for every occasion…

Almost everyone who tries bitter orange jam wants to take some home. Today, the most delicious and aromatic jam is made from bitter orange, while the recipes for this special jam have been passed on from generation to generation and have been preserved until today.

So, whether you are looking for a way to brighten up your winter’s day, or simply longing for that scent which reminds you of Dubrovnik, we give you the secret recipe for preparing traditional delicious Dubrovnik Bitter Orange jam.

You will need the following ingredients

  • 1 kilo bitter oranges
  • 1 kilo sugar
  • Half litre of water (for boiling the seeds)

Directions

Day one

  • Rinse the bitter oranges (1kg) thoroughly under running water and remove the peel.
  • Soak the peel in water in a bowl and leave 24 hours.
  • Remove the orange seeds from the pulp and boil them (for about half an hour) in a half litre of water. Place it in a covered glass bowl and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Slice the orange pulp, cut the slices into halves, pour sugar over (1 kilo) and leave them covered in a bowl for 24 hours at room temperature.

Day two

  • After 24 hours, rinse the orange peel with water and cut it into narrow and thin strips. Strain the boiled seeds (using plastic strainer), rinse with water, and add remaining half litre of water. Mix the water in which the seeds were boiled with orange pulp (orange slices cut in halves covered with sugar) and orange peel strips.
  • Bring the mixture to boil and cook for about thirty minutes. Stir occasionally.

Once desired consistency is reached, pour the hot jam into glass jars (previously heated in the oven at 70°C). Cover the jars with lids firmly, turn them upside down and leave for about 15 minutes so that the jar lids can be sterilized with hot jam.

Store at room temperature (20 °C) and use as wished.
Enjoy!

Jam prepared with this special kind of bitter orange provides a unique taste and serves as an authentic product of the Dubrovnik region. It is the perfect souvenir to remind you of your visit to this historic city.

Sour Orange Recipe Ideas:

  • Make sour orange salad dressing by including the juice with some olive oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce and coconut oil.
  • Squeeze sour orange juice into glazes and marinades
  • Make marmalade, as the peel makes an exceptionally tasty addition
  • Instead of making lemonade, substitute sour oranges for lemons.
  • Include the juice in sodas for an alternative to artificially coloured and flavoured orange soda.
  • Add sour orange juice to sweet bread, pancake and cupcake batter.
  • Make a glaze from sour orange
 
This recipe for jam made of Dubrovnik bitter orange was created and developed by the humanitarian association DEŠA – Dubrovnik through the eponymous project, which after a series of medals won at the Croatian Festival of jams and marmalades in Dubrovnik, became a gold medallist at the event called “Marmalades 2013” held in Slovenia in 2013.

If you are looking to buy this special souvenir, be sure to visit the Croatian festival of Jams and Marmalades held at the end of September in Dubrovnik.  Visitors can taste and buy bitter orange delicacies made according to traditional recipes – bitter orange jam and marmalade, or visit the DEŠA Association website for more information.

 

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