Three Rare Citrus Marmalades Gift Set
Three Rare Citrus Marmalades, limited edition of 40 sets only, numbered and signed by the artist.
Boxed gift set of three marmalades featuring rare citrus from the renowned Gene Lester Collection in Watsonville, California–with over 300 varieties, the largest private assemblage of citrus in the West. Due to worldwide concerns about spreading citrus pathogens this plant material will not reach this continent again, and cannot be propagated.
Though it is not open to the public I am able to use its bounty and have found many favorites. There’s enough fruit to use as accents in blends, but because in most cases these are single trees, some the only ones in existence, there’s not enough to add any of them to my regular line. This is the first time I have highlighted three specimens in their own jams. Pictured on the lid as I harvested them, they are, from left to right:
Kinkoji Pommelo A rare hybrid from the Chinese grapefruit family of enormous sour fruits with thick perfumed skin, this large deeply colored pear-shaped fruit caught my eye, and then my nose, its peel strongly redolent of the fruit and flowers of the tropics, of mango and plumeria. It is blended here with other rare pommelos in the collection, juice from white grapefruit I harvested in Napa, and Texas lemon juice, a rare citron-like lemon from DeSantis Farms in Fresno. These compliment and bring balance to its flavor.
Sampson Tangelo One of the outstanding varieties of the collection, and one of Gene’s favorites, perfect fragrant deep orange orbs with fairly thin skins, firm juicy interior flesh and few seeds, designed like an orange but with the flavor of a mandarin. This one deserves to be in the marketplace, and perhaps one day it will be. But for now, here it is alone in all its glory, with just a bit of Rangpur lime juice to cut its sweetness, the glorious color and lively orange mandarin flavor captured and preserved in a jar.
Marrakesh Limetta This is the first year’s harvest from this rare tree, just enough for one batch of marmalade. Beautiful round, somewhat bumpy golden-yellow fruits with a distinctive dimpled point at the tip and a flavor both lemon and lime, with hints of fragrant citron, lemon verbena and fresh pine. Blended here with some Meyer lemon juice, a bit of grapefruit juice and a small amount of lime to enhance its inherent qualities, this heady lemon-lime makes for one of the finest marmalades I have ever produced. |