Although many deem it to be a quintessentially British preserve, marmalade was imported into Britain from the Iberian Pennisula many centuries ago.
The name originates from Portugal, where marmelada applies exclusively to quince jam.
There are just three ingredients that go into it – Seville oranges, water and sugar.
In the 16th century, the bitter rind from oranges was cooked until soft, then preserved in sugar and by the 17th century, it became a much looser jelly with pieces of fruit, resembling the classic marmalade which we recognize now.
In 1797 the first commercial marmalade factory opened in Dundee – Keil- ler’s, named after its creator Janet Keiller but then acquired by Crosse & Blackwell and now part of Robertson’s, another company of Scottish origin. This knobbly, odd shaped root vegetable has a subtle celery-like flavour with nutty overtones and originated in the Mediterranean Basin and Northern Europe although now grown across many continents.
It is available all year round but best throughout the winter months.
Celeriac needs to be peeled prior to eating or cooking – it tends to oxidise and turn brown as soon as its been cut, so to keep the flesh white submerge if a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon – much like apples. It can be added be eaten raw in salads or cooked – boiled or roasted and made into a tasty mash.