What is a Bitter orange?
The "Seville orange" [sour orange, bigarade orange, bergamot orange and bitter orange] refers to a citrus tree (Citrus aurantium) and its fruit. Many varieties of bitter oranges are used for their essential oil, which is used in perfume and as a flavouring. They are also used in herbal medicine.
The unripe fruit called "narthangai" is commonly used in Southern Indian food, especially in Tamil cuisine. The unripe fruit is pickled by cutting it into spirals and stuffing it with salt. The pickle is usually consumed with thayir sadam. The fresh fruit is also used frequently in pachadis. The juice from the ripe fruit is also used as a marinade in meat in Cuban cooking. The peel can also become an ingredient in bitters. The Belgian Witbier (white beer) is a beer made from wheat which is spiced with the peel of the bitter orange. The Finnish use bitter orange peel in gingerbread, also in mämmi. The distinctive aroma of the bergamot is most commonly known for its use in Earl Grey tea.
Seville orange substitute
A good substitute for Seville orange juice is:
- 1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Mix together and use as your recipe indicates.