The orange trees Sevillanos, one of the curiosities of the city.
When you travel to Seville, nobody expect that one of the things that most catches the attention of the city is its orange trees. But to everyone’s surprise, the capital of Seville is crowded with them, in fact it is the city with the most of these trees in the world with more than 35,000 units. And no less striking, that his oranges are bitter.
Why are there so many orange trees in Seville?
The orange trees are not native to our city, but are native to China and India. The Arabs, so influential in our culture throughout history, were the first to bring them and start planting them in their gardens and patios, since it was also said that brought good luck to its owner. From the s. XII the orange trees went from being only in patios and private gardens, to occupy also religious places and urban spaces.
However it is the most current Seville that has made the bitter orange and the smell of orange blossom its seal. Records show that in 1970 there were about 5,000 oranges in the city, multiplying its number by 8 in only four decades.
What are all the city oranges used for?
When producing oranges bitter, it seems that the utility of the orange is limited to the simple ornamentation, but nothing further from reality. The orange tree takes advantage of its flower, its fruit and its leaves.
Until the end of the Middle Ages, the main asset of the tree were its flowers, from which oils and healing essences were made, so its use was mainly for medicinal purposes. But the great aroma of the orange blossom led the Arabs to want to make Seville a world center of perfume, as the orange blossom was and remains today one of the components most used in perfumery and is part of the most widespread and sold aromas Across the globe.
Beefeater also uses bitter orange sevillana to make its famous gin. A wide variety of products are prepared, especially confectionery. Jams, jams, liqueurs such as Cointreau or Curaçao, sweet wines and chocolates. Another lesser known use of orange, is for the production of gunpowder.
But above all, the oranges in Seville are related to the British marmalade.
Sevillian orange and British marmelada.
Britain is one of the main importers of the bitter orange that is collected in Seville.
They appreciate it so much and it is so widespread that it is the only one known as marmalade, the rest being considered as jam. The only jam in England and the other British countries is therefore the one known as Seville Orange Marmalade, elaborated exclusively from the oranges of Seville and, they say, the favorite of the Royal House.
The English even celebrate an annual contest – Dalemain Marmalade Festival – in which they reward the best marmalade of Seville orange both homemade and industrial. Curiously, few Andalusian participants come to this event.
Legend has it that it was Hercules, mythological founder of Seville, who introduced the orange in the city as part of one of “The 12 works” that his cousin Euriteo, as punishment for having murdered part of his family.
2. In the Patio de los Naranjos de la Catedral de Sevilla, which is accessed through the Puerta del Perdón, there are some of the longest-lived orange trees in the city, approximately one hundred years old.
3. For the soccer world championship held in Spain in 1982, an orange called Naranjito was used as a pet. According to their designers, they were inspired by Seville’s oranges.
The orange trees are part of the identity of the city of Seville and are precious to see throughout the years, but there are two times that make them a true spectacle. Winter, when the trees full of fruits shine with oranges, and spring, when a white cloak of orange blossom covers all the treetops and envelops the city in that aroma that characterizes it so much.
Come and see it with your own eyes