Orange (Seville or Sour)

Seville orange

Oranges are one of the most popular fruits in the world, and they come in many varieties. One of these varieties is the Seville or sour orange, which is known for its bitter taste and distinctive aroma.

Scientific name: Citrus aurantium. It belongs to the Rutaceae family, which includes other citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and grapefruits.

Other names: The Seville or sour orange is also known by several other names, including Bigarade orange, Bitter orange, or Marmalade orange.

Habitat: The Seville orange is native to Southeast Asia, but it has been widely cultivated in many parts of the world, including Spain, Italy, and the United States. It is a subtropical tree that requires a warm climate and well-drained soil to thrive.

Description: The Seville orange tree is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree that can grow up to 10 meters tall. It has a dense and round canopy with glossy green leaves that are ovate or elliptical in shape. The tree produces fragrant white flowers that bloom in the spring and summer, followed by small, round fruit that is green when unripe and turns yellow-orange when mature.

The Seville orange fruit is usually larger than other citrus fruits and has a thick, bumpy skin that is difficult to peel. The flesh is sour and bitter, with a distinct aroma that sets it apart from other citrus fruits.

Status: The Seville orange is a natural species of citrus fruit. It is not a hybrid or genetically modified organism (GMO). It is believed to have originated from Southeast Asia and has been cultivated for centuries.

Species of Seville orange

List of known species: The Seville orange (Citrus aurantium) is the most well-known species of bitter orange, but there are several other species in the Citrus genus that are also referred to as bitter oranges. These include the Bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia), the Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata), and the Seville pomelo (Citrus maxima).

Wild species: It is believed that Citrus aurantium, or bitter orange, is a natural hybrid of two other citrus species, Citrus maxima (pomelo) and Citrus reticulata (mandarin), that occurred in Southeast Asia. While it may have started as a wild species, it has been cultivated by humans for centuries and is now widely grown in many parts of the world for its fruit, as well as for its essential oil and medicinal properties. As a result of this long history of cultivation and use by humans, it is no longer considered a completely wild species in the traditional sense, but rather a cultivated species that has been selectively bred and adapted to suit human needs and preferences.

Benefits of Seville orange

Mineral content: The Seville orange is rich in several minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is also a good source of ascorbate and dietary fiber.

Medicinal value: The Seville orange has several medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antispasmodic properties, making it useful in treating a variety of conditions such as indigestion, coughs, and colds. The fruit is also known to have a calming effect on the nervous system, making it useful in treating anxiety and insomnia.

Culinary uses: The Seville orange is primarily used in culinary applications, particularly in making marmalade. The bitter flavor of the fruit is well-suited to preserving and canning. In some countries, the Seville orange is also used to make a bitter liqueur called Curaçao.

Research information

Research on the Seville orange has shown that it may have potential health benefits, particularly in the treatment of diabetes and high cholesterol. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consuming Seville orange juice can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce cholesterol levels in overweight individuals with high cholesterol. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that compounds in the Seville orange peel may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that could help prevent chronic diseases.

Seville/Sour Orange Recipes

The Seville orange is best known for its use in making marmalade, a preserve made from the fruit and sugar. Here are two simple recipes:

Seville orange marmalade

1kg Seville oranges
3 key limes
2kg date sugar
2 liters water


  • Wash the oranges and limes and slice them thinly.
  • Remove the seeds and pith from the slices and place them in a large pot.
  • Add water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours until the fruit is soft and the liquid has reduced.
  • Add date sugar to the pot and stir until dissolved.
  • Increase heat and boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes until the mixture has thickened and reaches 105°C (220°F) on a candy thermometer.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  • Pour the marmalade into sterilized jars and seal tightly.

Alkaline vegan Seville orange salad


2 Seville oranges, peeled and sliced
2 cups baby watercress
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup sliced walnuts
1/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh Seville orange juice
1 teaspoon agave
Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine the watercress, sliced avocado, sliced walnuts, and raisins.In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, fresh Seville orange juice, agave, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat.
  • Add the sliced Seville oranges to the salad and gently toss again.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

This alkaline Seville orange salad is fresh, healthy, and packed with nutrients. The Seville oranges add a tangy and slightly bitter flavor that pairs well with the creamy avocado and crunchy walnuts. This salad is also great for meal prep and can be stored in the fridge for a quick and easy lunch or dinner option.

Taxonomy of citrus fruits by Dirk Frettl ̈oh, 11. February 2019 – citrus taxonomy


– Citrus aurantium. (n.d.). Floridata. Retrieved from
– Citrus aurantium L. (n.d.). Plants of the World Online. Retrieved from
– Bitter orange. (2021, March 3). Healthline. Retrieved from
– Jeyaraman, J., Jesudoss, V. A. L., & Menon, V. P. (2006). Effect of bitter orange (Citrus aurantium) on the development of obesity in a rat model. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 86(3), 410-415.
– Lee, Y. S., Cha, B. Y., Choi, S. S., Choi, B. K., Yonezawa, T., Teruya, T., & Nagai, K. (2004). Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L.) improves obesity by regulating adipogenesis and thermogenesis through AMPK activation. Nutrition, 20(7-8), 745-749.
– Lin, Y. C., & Lai, Y. J. (2021). A review on the citrus flavonoids, nobiletin and tangeretin in metabolic syndrome. Food & Nutrition Research, 65(0), 10.29219/fnr.v65i0.5921.
– Murugan, A. C., Karimian, H., Daneshvar, N., Wei, L. S., & Abdullah, R. (2014). Citrus aurantium L. (bitter orange) peel aqueous extract inhibits STAT3 activation and exhibits anti-cancer properties in human colorectal cancer cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 151(2), 903-913.

Author: sebifood

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