Guest post: Italian clementines from Natoora

image of clementines

December is for clementines: it’s when they are in season and at their best, making the most welcome appearance on Christmas tables, or as a gift inside hampers and stockings. Once considered a special and exotic Christmas treat, they are now easily available… but not all clementines are created equal! Their quality depends hugely on where and how they are grown.

Our beautiful Italian leafy clementines come from two areas in the South of Italy. At the beginning of the season we source them from Puglia, namely from the town of Palagiano, where the best early varieties are grown. The area is known for its particularly fertile soil and mild dry climate – both ideal conditions for growing citrus. Because of their outstanding qualities, clementines from Palagiano are certified with the IGT label. Continue reading

Natoora guest post: Pink is my favourite orange

Some truly fantastic pink produce is now in season, bringing a bright note to the grey winter days: pastel-coloured pink radicchio, vibrant forced rhubarb, blushed garlic from Lautrec… The newest entry is perhaps the most interesting: ever heard of pink oranges?

Image of Natoora pink oranges at Ocado

We source them from a citrus grower, Carmelo, with whom we have a long-established relationship. His farm is based in Scordia, near the Sicilian town of Catania – widely known as one of the best citrus growing regions in the world. There the microclimate provided by the volcano of Mount Etna, with warm days and cool nights throughout the whole winter, gives way to some excellent citrus.

Carmelo’s are simply the best we have ever tasted. His family has been growing outstanding citrus fruits for generations, and we started to work with him for the consistent quality he produces, as well as for a common interest in innovation. Pink oranges are his latest, fantastic discovery – one that we fell in love with at first bite.

A cross between a navel orange and a grapefruit, pink oranges combine a lightly acidic kick with a delicious, sweet juiciness and an easy-to-peel unwaxed skin. They are delightful simply juiced, but they also make for a fantastic alternative to more common oranges in most recipes.

Try them in a colourful seasonal salad with thinly sliced fennel and olives…

Image of Pink Oranges and Fennel Salad

Or in a medley of oranges for a new take on the classic marmalade.

Natoora marmalade recipe at Ocado

Of course, they work great in most citrus-based desserts, like a moist and decadent Flourless Orange Almond Cake

Natoora Flourless Orange Almond Cake recipe at Ocado

…or a dense, crumbly Polenta Upside Down Orange Cake.

Image of Natoora Orange Polenta Upside Down Cake recipe at Ocado

Enjoy!

Katherine from Natoora

Guest post: Katherine from Natoora – the beauty of bergamot

Bergamot Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

It was love at first taste for us at Natoora when we first sourced the beautifully floral bergamot fruit. We had uncovered a phenomenal citrus fruit, which at the time was used almost exclusively in essence form only (particularly known for flavouring Earl Grey tea). Now, in our fifth season, it is in widespread use in the professional kitchens we supply across the country, and through Ocado, an exciting new ingredient for home cooks to experiment with too.

Bergamot and Lemon Curd

We work with a consortium of growers, which guarantees that the bergamots we source are grown in the calcareous clay soil of the Ionian peninsula. Their flavour is one of a kind – intense, sour but floral, alluringly versatile.

Bergamot Spelt Cookies

The best way to get to know the bergamot is perhaps to try using it in place of lemon. It works incredibly well in savoury dishes involving fish and bitter salads, it will liven up any fruit salad, and also works wonderfully in creamy desserts and cakes.

One of the quickest and most enjoyable ways to try bergamot is simply popped in a good G&T. It will transform it into something out of this world…

Bergamot Mint Gin Tonic

We also love it used in place of lemon in cakes and desserts, or to add a twist to a classic Victoria Sponge

Victoria Sponge with Bergamot Curd and Mascarpone Cream Filling

Hop you enjoy it as much as we do!

Katherine, Natoora

Discover more ideas for using bergamot, plus other great Natoora dishes, over on our Recipes section.

Follow @natoorauk on Twitter for tips and ideas on seasonal ingredients.