Some people promote religion, others politics. *I* promote citrus fruit: #lemon #ortanique

Many years ago in a local Waitrose I found an unknown to me citrus fruit – an ortanique – so I bought a few, and tried them.

They had a quite thin but quite tough skin, and I discovered the hard way that trying to peel them was not a good idea, rapidly switching to using a very sharp knife to cut them into quarters to eat them.

They were very juicy with a slightly (or even lightly, as I first write before I noticed the typo) tart flavour, and I instantly became an addict.

Which led to my second finding about ortaniques: although they are *very* nice, it’s probably not a good idea to eat more than two at a time: eating an ortanique quarter you – or at any rate I – will get some juice on your lips, and if you – or at any rate I – eat more than about eight quarters at one go, then you – or at any rate I – will get slightly numb lips from the tart flavoured juice.

The ortaniques were very seasonal (I forget which season), and I used to look forward each year to them arriving in the shops.

But at some point I stopped buying them (maybe because they were no longer being displayed in the shops I frequented), and I forgot about them.

Until earlier this week when looking for some satsumas in the Sainsburys near Waterloo Station I found some citrus fruits in a string bag, and on inspection they were labelled as tangerines of the “ortanique” variety. I bought them, and on trying them they were indeed the ortaniques I used to buy years ago.

What’s more they were on an offer of five or six for one GB pound. So I urge anyone who likes fruit to check out their local fruit shop or/and – if that fails – their local Sainsbury’s and try an ortanique before they disappear again.




I reproduce this as part of the page that appeared when I opened this link from seaching OxfordDictionaries.com for ortanique. I leave it to my readers (if there are any) to decide if they wish to reinvigorate their writing:

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Anti-Valentine Ortaniques

Because the Saltpeter associated Anti-Valentine Festival from Vera Chok and Adrian Gillott provided rather nice free clementines(?), for the last event in the series on Thursday.27.February.2014 I decided in return to give the organisers and ticket checkers an ortanique after the performance. So earlier in the day I bought several ortaniques for that express purpose.

At lunchtime I went to a very good concert at the LSE by the *very* musical Fournier Trio. It was, as anticipated, a musically *very* satisfying performance – I was moved to tears by their repeat of the bittersweet polka-rhythmned second movement Allegretto grazioso (the performance linked to is not by the Fournier Trio, but by the Melbourne Piano Trio, and at a first hearing they seem rather good – trivia note: at the time of the recording (2011) the Melbourne Piano Trio’s violinist was also of Korean origin) and because I know the musicians slightly, I thought it might be a nice idea to present each of them with an ortanique as they left the venue. Which I did.

Later that afternoon, due to a chain of chance (serendipitous?) decisions I was sitting in the SouthBank Centre near the Clore Ballroom, accessing the internet and half looking at a conference being held there on diversity in the theatre. A little after I arrived someone leaving the conference said hello to me, and after a second or two I recognised Gabby Wong, who has given several good performances that I’ve seen. There ensued a brief discussion about the Canadian film “Last Night” and Wong Kar-Wai’s film “Day’s of Being Wild”, then Gabby had to leave. Two minutes after that (about one minute too late) I realised that it might have been a nice idea to give her an ortanique. So this post is giving her a virtual ortanique, and I decided that I’d give two ortaniques so that she could eat one on behalf of Gabby Wong.

On entering the Anti-Valentine event Anna Sulan and Adrian Gillott were on the door, so I explained that later I’d be giving them each an ortanique. But three hours later, after the event had finished and I was about to leave, Vera Chok was the only organising person left at the event whom I knew, so she was presented with one ortanique to eat on her own account, and several other ortaniques to eat “on behalf” of others, who will now (and should!) have to buy their own ortaniques!

About Colin Bartlett

I'm interested in arts, mathematics, science. Suliram is a partial conflation of the names of three good actors: Ira Aldridge, Anna May Wong, and another. My intention is to use a personal experience of arts to make some points, but without being too "me me me" about it. And to follow Strunk's Elements of Style. Except that I won't always "be definite": I prefer Niels Bohr's precept that you shouldn't write clearer than you think.
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