The most comprehensive overview of marmalade through the ages, with a wide range of historical recipes, as well as up-to-date ones for the modern kitchen. Full of fascinating and often amusing anecdotes - well worth its small place on anyone's cookery shelf.
I've had The Book of Marmalade for a while now and have read it several times over. I love making marmalade and this book puts the whole process into historical perspective. Did you know that the original "marmalade" was made from quinces and that the name itself derives from the Portugese word for quince which was "marmelo"? Hence we make "marmelada" from "marmelo" - quince! Hallelujah, because I also make Quince Paste (membrillo for those of you who have eaten it in Spain) and knowing the history of a foodstuff tickles me pink! So, why do we now associate marmalade with Seville oranges? Well, for this we have the Arabs to thank and their road led to Rebecca Price who copied a recipe for 'marmelett of oringes: my mother's receipt' into her own recipe book in 1681 and so on down the historical road to one Janet Keiller of Dundee who, at an unknown date in the eighteenth century, bought a load of Seville oranges cheaply from a storm-driven ship, turned it into marmalade using the sugar her husband stocked in his shop and sold it over the counter with such great success that the firm of James Keiller and Son was established to make and sell this confection commercially. Janet Keiller didn't invent marmalade; she had access to recipes that were in circulation at the time, but she certainly played her part in popularising it. There are recipes, too, to try out and if you want to know all about marmalade as an aphrodisiac, here's where you will find out all about it! Oh, and if you have a quince tree in your garden, look after it with tender, loving care and if you dont' have one, plant one and, in time, you'll be making wonderful quince jellies and cheeses.
This book is excellent if you want a history of marmalade. Well written, well researched and highly readable. There are a few recipies but they are not the main point of the book. A good read for anyone who makes marmalade or just enjoys eating it.