Somewhat unusually for a book of this kind, it even includes a number of recipes – for fried valencia orange slices, sea bass with tangerine juice, marmalade, tarte au citron, citrus sabayon, orange mousse, and a few other things. For example:
12 limes, halved
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 hot green chilli peppers
1 inch ginger root
4 oz seedless raisins
7 green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
4 dried red chilli peppers
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3 tablespoon coarse salt
1 lb light brown sugar
- Juice the limes. Discard 6 lime halves.
- In a food processor, combine remaining 18 lime halves, green chilli peppers, onion, ginger and raisins. Chop finely. Place mixture in a non-metal bowl.
- Open cardamom pods. In a heavy skillet, toast peppercorns, cardamom seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and the dried red chillies for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Let the spices cool on a dry plate, then grind finely.
- Add spices, lime juice, sugar, and vinegar to the chopped fruit mixture. Stir thoroughly, cover, and let steep at room temperature for 2 days.
- On the third day, pour mixture into an enamelled pot (no stainless steel), add salt, and bring to a boil slowly. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Place in prepared clean jars. Close jars with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool place.
Still-Life, Jan Davidsz. de Heem, 1642
I found the chapter on art a little frustrating, though. There are many oranges in art and lemons in art, but authors who discuss such works should provide a few more illustrations. And equating oranges with “golden apples” in Greek mythology was rather dubious, I thought. But overall, I enjoyed reading this book.