Family Travel: Journey to the Source, Seville Orange Marmalade

GO TO the Andalusian capital, Seville, anytime from now until the end of February and you can bring home a taste of southern Spain to last all year.

As its name suggests, the city is not only home to Carmen - and the dreaded macarena - but also to the scented and bitter oranges from which the Brits make their favourite kind of marmalade.

Apparently, the municipally owned orange trees that grow in and around the city's elegant squares and, at certain times of year, fill Seville's streets with the smell of orange-blossom, are almost all of the marmalade- making variety. The good news for travellers is that, in a month or two's time, it will be the peak Seville orange-picking season.

Real marmalade fans know that the best stuff doesn't come from the supermarket shelves but, rather, from an enormous pan on the kitchen stove. However, if you are determined to make your own marmalade, it can be an expensive business.

In January and February, UK mail-order outlet, the Fresh Food Company (326 Portobello Road, London W10, 0181- 969 0351 or visit: www.freshfood.co.uk) will be stocking Organic Marmalade Kits. These will include marmalade recipes, and cost pounds 29.95 (for a large kit that comprises 3.5kg Andalusian Seville oranges and 6.5kg castor sugar).

For an organic marmalade, this is not bad value - and the results are a gooey delight - but, if you take a trip to one of Seville's markets, you could buy the same amount of fruit for Pta245 (about pounds 1), pick up the same quantity of sugar for about pounds 5 from your local branch of Tesco (0800 505555), when you get back on British soil, and save yourself almost pounds 24 for your efforts.

If you've got the appetite - and the necessary weight-allowance on the plane - you could even buy 7.5kg of oranges in Seville, sell off the delicious finished product in Britain at UK prices and have enough profit to pay for your pounds 176 return flight on BA from London Gatwick to Seville (through Trailfinders, 0171-937 5400).

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