Thursday, January 29, 2015

Toast and marmalade. . . . . . . .

No getting away from it, I absolutely love buttered toast and marmalade.
I grew up in a British home with a family who loved a couple of slices of good bread 
 toasted up into light, crispy crusted toast, at breakfast and often at other times.

Yesterday while in Aldi for mushrooms, tomatoes and avocados - I happened to see
this 'Italian' bread on a rack. The large 2 lb bag of bread - at just $3.49 - looked 
interesting, and when I picked it up I immediately thought 'toast'. 
I was right, this bread makes wonderful toast, light and crispy, no sogginess 
when buttered, holds marmalade without collapsing, perfect for breakfast.

There was always good local butter - in Devon we lived surrounded 
by dairy farms, thankfully many are still there. Mother made many delicious jams.
I especially loved her Damson plum, raspberry and strawberry, fruits available 
locally in season. However, nothing compared to her homemade orange 
marmalade, boiled, stirred, and 'bottled' from the annual glut of bitter
Seville oranges which arrived, just once a year, in England's little corner 
greengrocer shops.

Today's breakfast.

I am always on the lookout here for British-made marmalade, even passing 
up French Bonne Maman!  Although I love their jams, their marmalade is too runny 
and the peel too fine and soft. Good marmalade has chunks of peel you can bite into. 
Personally, I give a wide berth to any commercial American-made versions all of 
which have far too much sugar, plus unacceptable too finely chopped/shredded peel.

Today I'm spreading, generously I might add, my current jar of Mackays Dundee 
Orange Marmalade, "made with the whole fruit" in traditional open copper pans. 
Peel not as thick as some other Scottish brands but still very good with a nice bite. 
BTW, the best marmalades seem to be made in Scotland, the first jar supposedly
 produced there in 1797, and Dundee holds the name "The Home of Marmalade".

What do you put on your toast?

My vintage marmalade crocks.

It has been said that Seville Orange Marmalade was created by an Englishwoman in the 1700's. The wife of a grocer was stuck with some sour oranges that were bought cheaply from a boat carrying them from Seville, Spain. There was a storm and they wanted to get rid of their cargo of oranges quickly, so the grocer purchased them. Sadly, or maybe not, they were inedible and his wife decided to try making jam from them. Viola! - Seville Orange Marmalade was invented.


  1. Oh Mary, that toasted bread and marmalade looks so delicious. I do love marmalade and buy the Smucker's brand which is not the best, but will do, and I have it often. I like it on home made (from the local bakery) brown bread, toasted and with butter. Yum. I didn't know that story of how Seville marmalade came into being. So interesting. I now wish I'd bought a loaf of specialty bread when I was in town this morning. I love your collection of crocks. I have one bottle which is much newer and is more of a milk glass. I don't know where I could buy good marmalade here but I should try to find it. Hugs. Pam

  2. hello

    Love your pictures this post.yum
    I like orange marmalade and just bought a jar that says France on it so guess they make it as well as the English
    I usually use blackberry jelly and jam but wanted to try something new on my toast .
    I use to have some of those old marmalade stone jars and sold them years ago in a yard sale of mine, now I want them back


  3. Me too. Orange marmalade, please. Have long been in love with EB's Toast and Marmalade dishes. Wish I had a plate or two. '-)

  4. Oh Mary, I'd be right there with you enjoying that Italian bread toasted with butter and marmalade jam. The perfect snack for me. I have loved marmalade since I was a child although it is often thought of as an older ladies' preference of jams. I used to love it on crackers, too. Your crocks are gorgeous and inquiring minds want to know what you use those little silver cups for? Deb

  5. I love the taste of good marmalade but don't eat it often. I have avocado on Vogel toast for breakfast most mornings.

  6. Dear Mary - How appetising you make a couple of slices of toast and marmalade look and sound. You have made me feel quite peckish, but it is past my bedtime here and I must restrain myself until breakfast time in the morning. I love any homemade marmalade, when I am eating orange I prefer that, but when its lemon with a hint of zing then that has my blessing.
    I use Aldi and Lidl too, I wonder if ours carry similar things to yours? - I know that the ones in France carry a better range of French cheeses than here.

  7. I've just finished making my second batch of marmalade since 'tis the season here in the UK. I use my grandmother's recipe of 6 seville to 3 sweet oranges and 3 lemons. It makes up around 13 lbs of marmalade and is not too bitter. It should be enough for my parents for next year. I do most of their cooking as my mother is bedridden and is cared for by my father and professional carers. They're used to having everything home made so I oblige, marmalade being just one of the umpteen jams and jellies I made last year. Can you not get bitter oranges in North Carolina? I know they grow the bergamot orange in San Francisco which is similar in bitterness to the seville. I'm glad you were able to find some non-sweet bread for your toast. When we've been in US we've lived on sourdough as it was the only "normal" bread we could find, although a number of restaurants which made their own breadrolls produced a wonderful selection which we thoroughly enjoyed.

  8. I would absolutely love this toast and marmalade. I use to sell a very good marmalade in my business, the flavor was so good, but the jam factory never would put in enough peel. Since I don't sell it any longer I am always on the look out for good marmalade. Love, love, love it. Now I must go on the search again and then get some good bread (I do love it on sour dough) and good butter. Yummmm!

  9. Lovely story - and great photos. I've never learned to enjoy marmalade and perhaps it might be because of the sweetness of it made in the US. I find it just too sugary. Maybe I'll look for some imported and give it a try. I love a good piece of toast with my home made jam. We live in the middle of berry country and get flats of rasperries, strawberries and blueberries for 14.00 a flat. I make jam and use less than half the sugar the recipe calls for - just boil it longer and it is perfectly jelled and tastes like the fruit - not like sugar. I have some frozen apricots (bought a bushel of them when they were cheap in the summer), so I need to make some apricot preserves, before Don eats them all on his yogurt.

  10. Tea & toast my favourite breakfast or sometimes a treat before bed. I used to top mine with Marmite but it's a bit to high in salt ,so now I choose between Bonne Maman fraises or apricots. The Italian bread looks perfect for toasting.

  11. I love those crocks. And do love a good marmalade, but you are right, some are just downright awful. I've actually had Seville Orange Marmalade and boy is it good. Best wishes, Tammy

  12. Dear Mary, Just looking at your toast spread with marmalade makes my mouth water. I love starting the day with a good cup of coffee and a good piece of toasted bread spread with a healthy amount of unsalted butter and some of my home-made preserves or topped with our local honey.

  13. On my way to Aldi's today so I will be checking out the breads! Perhaps Southern Seasons for Scottish marmalades?
    Ta Ta for now.....jeannette

  14. Your toast and marmalade looks delish. ....comfort food, for sure. I am not one to eat a lot of jams or spreads on toast, but having said that, when in the mood, usually when I need that "just something" before going to bed, marmalade or just plain butter is my choice.

  15. Your marmalade toast looks so good! I am eating a half of grapefruit right now. Love your vintage crocks!

  16. I love a post that gets everyone's taste buds dancing! !I do love toast, especially really good, thick bread. but I prefer a pat of butter. I've never been one for jellies, jams or marmalade's, something about the texture, not the taste. The same for honey and maple syrup. I'm sure I'm missing out on some of the best things in life! I love hearing your memories.

    I scrolled back, I don't know how I keep missing your posts. I'm so sorry Bob had to endure oral surgery but you said he did well. Hope he's feeling like himself by now.

    Love to you both!

    Jane x

  17. Oh, marmalade, yes! And I, too, have hung onto a couple of the old-style Dundee crock-jars, for their visual appeal as much as for practicality.

    There is a wonderful story in James Michener's "Iberia" about how ships homebound to Scotland (in the 20s and 30s, I think?) would call at Spanish Mediterranean ports and load the ballast with oranges chopped in half, then add seawater. By the tine they got home, he said, the marmalade was nearly ready.

    No idea If the story is true, but it sounds plausible and very thrifty.

  18. Mary, a most appetizing post about your delicious toast!! There's something very cozy about warm, crunchy bread, spread with one's favourite fruit topping and butter. Like you, I also find Bonne Maman too runny, although I find the flavour tasty enough. The Canadian ones are definitely too sweet, even for those with a sweet tooth, like me. Undoubtedly, homemade jams and marmalades are the best for quality and flavour, especially since one knows what's in them, but when they're not available, I have to say, the Greek ones are very good. I like my toast lightly buttered, (Denmark's 'Lurpak', here), and then topped with strawberry or peach jam, in contrast to sponge cakes, in which I prefer raspberry.

    What an interesting story about the origins of Seville orange marmalade! I didn't know that Scotland was famous for their fruity preserves; thank you for this most intriguing post! I shall think of you tomorrow morning, while my coffee is brewing, waiting for my toast to pop up!

    Happy Sunday!



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