Tag Archives: oranges

Shalada Bortukal

I mentioned in the previous post that, as part of our farewell dinner, we enjoyed a glorious dessert of orange salad. The name for that salad is Shalada Bortukal. If you read my history of oranges (April 2, 2008), you’ll know that, a few centuries ago, the primary grower of sweet oranges in the Mediterranean region was Portugal, and that the country’s name came to identify sweet oranges. I don’t think it’s too hard to see Portugal in Bortukal—and, indeed, sweet oranges are the key to this recipe.

Surprisingly, for a dish that is so ambrosial, this is really easy to make. And I have never yet served this where someone didn’t (between ooohs and aaahs) comment that they would never have imagined these flavors being so good together. Enjoy.

Shalada Bortukal
(Moroccan Orange Salad)

4 navel oranges
2 Tbsp. rosewater
3 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Slice the oranges thinly and spread them on a platter (this can be done in stages, if you don’t have a large platter). Sprinkle rosewater over the oranges. Next, sprinkle the sugar over them. Finally, sprinkle the cinnamon over the oranges. Let chill for about 30 minutes. Toss lightly before serving. (If you want to make a presentation of this, chill oranges with just the sugar and rosewater, and then sprinkle on the cinnamon just before serving. You could also garnish it with a mint sprig.)

Note: Get really nice oranges. Bargain oranges sold in bulk are usually not as juicy and flavorful as the ones that are sold individually.

As for the rosewater, pretty much any Indian grocer will sell it, if you don’t have a place that caters to North African shoppers. It’s fairly common at the international stores, as well. Or you can find it on the Internet.

©2008 Cynthia Clampitt


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Orange You Glad


 Oranges in an outdoor market in Mexico.

The room that surprised me most at London’s Hampton Court Palace, the first time I visited, was the orangery. I expected a lot of things in a palace, but not agriculture. The orangery at Hampton Court is a wonderful, bright room with high ceilings and high, arched windows that can be opened out onto a patio. The room was lined with rows of small, healthy, carefully trimmed orange trees in beautiful, large, porcelain pots.

A few years later, I visited Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home in Virginia. I had seen pictures, so I knew what the main buildings would look like, but I was surprised to find, tucked behind some of the fabulous gardens, a magnificent orangery.

This was beginning to look like a trend.

The era of growing oranges indoors was, in fact, only one small segment of the long history of oranges, but the immense cost to which people went to construct these buildings hints at the astonishing popularity of the fruit. While there have been times when their fame was due almost as much to their scarcity as to their taste, abundance has only served to make oranges more popular. Today, oranges are considered to be one of the five or six most important fruits in the world. Continue reading

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