Archive for May, 2010

blood orange sugar magik (no chili peppers in this one!)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 24, 2010 by massapeel
well…  it has been a while since I have had an opportunity to post to the blog.  between work, family, and actual production of the marmalade, the blog has taken back seat.

First of all, thanks to everyone who has stopped by the Mass A’Peel booth to taste, visit, purchase, provide feedback, etc… at the Charlottesville City Market and the Pen Park Farmer’s Market.  You are what this venture is all about!  And, frankly, you are what makes it so much fun!  I LOVE having someone approach the tasting table only to wrinkle his/her nose and proclaim “oh, I don’t like marmalade,” and then within minutes of a taste,  purchase a jar!  I love shattering preconceieved notions!

I also love creating new and fabulous concoctions.  As a tribute to a dear friend of mine who is also a self-proclaimed foodie with a passion for Campari, I decided to create a marmalade entitled “Blood Orange Sugar Magik” comprised of blood oranges and Campari.

To start.  The blood orange.  The blood orange is a variation of the sweet orange which has darker coloration in the rind and flesh because of anthocyanins – pigmentation commonly found in nature, but more often in flowers and non-citrus fruits, and loaded with antioxidants.  The degree of coloration is dependent on light, temperature and fruit variety. 

These beauties pictured above were used for our initial batch of Blood Orange Sugar Magik.  What I naively took to be merely “blood oranges” are more precisely blood oranges of the Sanguinello variety.  Who knew that there were multiple varieties of blood oranges?  Not I.  Well, now we all know that there are approximately a dozen varietals of blood oranges, however three are most common – The Sanguinello (pictured above) being among those three – and the Tarroco and the Moro being the other two.  The Sanguinello blood orange is a Spanish varietal which was discovered in the late ’20s and has a deep red flesh, and tinged peel.  It was less sweet than a traditional sweet orange, but by no means bitter.  And it produced an intense burgundy marmalade, which really is no surprise, given that its name derives from the Latin word for blood:  “sanguis.”

Flash forward several months…  when I make marmalade, sometimes I have to take what I can get when it comes to citrus.  So, when I found blood oranges, I bought them, thinking that they were going to be equivalent to the Sanguinellos that I had in the past, despite the name Tarroco blood orange on the label.  Well, I am sure that you can guess that despite being the second of the most popular blood orange varieties, the Tarroco is very different from the

Blood Orange Sugar Magik marmalade made with Sanguinello blood oranges

Sanguinello!  For starters, it is from Italy, and is in fact one fo the most popular oranges in Italy, thought to have derived from a mutation of the Sanguinello, while being the sweetest and most flavorful of the three most popular blood orange varieties.  It is also sweet, juicy, seedless and has the highest Vitamin C content of any other orange variety in the world, adding to its appeal.  And surprising to me was the fact that it is not nearly as red as the Sanguinello or Moro blood oranges. 

SO, Mass A’Peel’s Blood Orange Sugar Magik looks and tastes drastically different when made with different varieties of blood oranges!

Now – the Campari.  What exactly is Campari?  It is an Italian aperitif (an alcoholic beverage served to stimulate the appetite before a meal) which was created by Gaspare Campari in Novaro, Italy in 1860.  He called his concoction Rosa Campari, and it was an infusion of herbs, aromatic plants and fruits, mixed with alcohol and water.  There are rumored to be anywhere from 20-60 ingredients in Campari, whose recipe is a tightly held secret to this day.  (
Over the years, Campari truly spearheaded the trend to advertise alcohol.  It has been featured on hundreds of advertising posters, and has even been captured in a Capiello poster (Leonetto Capiello was a prolific creator of now-vintage advertising posters).   In any event, Campari is the ingredient that gives the bitterness to Mass A’Peel’s Blood Orange Sugar Magik.

vintage Capiello Campari advertising poster