Lesson learned: Don’t eat Sevillian sidewalk oranges

LAST UPDATED: 17 Feb, 2011 @ 09:00
Lesson learned: Don’t eat Sevillian sidewalk oranges

IT’S hard enough to motivate yourself to go for a run without having to put on wet socks. My feet dread their cloth cocoons. The rain earlier that day forced me to take down my drying laundry from the terrace clothesline. Finding a drying machine around here would be like stumbling across a pot of gold. Damp and cold, I muffle my barking dogs in the cushion of my New Balance sneakers; I tighten the laces and take off.

Running through orange orchards is a pretty energizing feeling. Alamillo Park provides this scenery for me. My eyes dart from tree to tree jumping from one sunny colored sphere to the next and my legs do their best to keep up; pushing me further into the citrus forest. I’m absorbing the visual wonderland sprouting around me and trying to breath in every ounce of sweet air, panting and inhaling almost bursts my balloons.

The oranges that grow in the city, lining the streets are charming and fragrant, but inedible in contrast to the orchard oranges.

The city trees only have enough soil to blossom and fruit, but not enough nutrients to create flavor within. These dud oranges are used to produce marmalade, not your juice in the morning.

I know that these oranges are bitter, but giving into my inner “Eve” I let temptation take over and I pluck a forbidden orange from its branch. Ripping the peel away sprays particles of juice and reveals the fleshy fruit. I sink my teeth in and immediately regret it. I can’t get the wretched taste out of my mouth quickly enough.

The lingering lesson learned stains my taste buds for the rest of the day like a proverbial “I told you so.”

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How did I end up in Spain? I bought a plane ticket.
I’ve always had a special connection to Spain. I attribute it to my parents’ visit to this country when they were 8 months pregnant with me. I got a taste of Spanish rhythm and I was hooked. But I didn’t know The Half of It. Now I’m living it, I’m enveloped in the culture. It’s as if this was always meant to be; like Spain and I were destined to happen.


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  1. If you need advice on wet socks, ask Paul Whitelock. He is an expert on all things socks.

    Btw, you desperately need to get some mod cons Caitlyn. Do you have electricity or are you still on candelight in your part of Andalucia?

  2. Ha Ha…yes tried that as well as stopping the car and scrumping from an orchard.
    It was scrumping lovely scrumptious Worcester apples from our local Bobby’s back garden in Isham, Northamptonshire, when I was a kid.
    The worst thing was him sitting under the tree, rolling a cigarette and reading his paper for half an hour whilst I was still up there?
    He then surprises me when he suddenly but gently says, ‘I can wait down here longer than you can up there lad!’
    That clip round the ear is still ringing!
    However, I didn’t learn my lesson, scrumping oranges just had to go into my life’s little accomplishments!
    Beware however, public trees are sacred in Spanish Towns….don’t get caught plucking one. Settle for windfalls!

  3. Nancy, people harvest them and ship them to Italy, where they know how to make marmalade with them!
    I was just visiting Cordoba, Sevilla, etc Spain on an excursion from a SPanish exchange program with my school. These trees are so tempting- but, as you said, DO NOT LET THEM SEDUCE you. lol
    We learned that you can tell when a orange tree bears sour fruit, like the ones in Sevilla and Cordoba, (in the city streets) when the leaves grow with a tiny, smaller, second leave growing on the stem behind them. It’s totally cool, if you spot one of these leaves on any tree- it means they are sour, do not eat.!!
    Here’s a picture of what I mean

  4. Those bitter oranges, what the Brits call Seville oranges are, I believe, also called naranja armaga. The trees that I know have very large thorns but I do not recall the second leaf.

    The juice is excellent in a G&T and, I have read, is a metabolic stimulant.

    • Lol ???? same happened to me but in Marrakech…oh damn sour but so tempting looking. Then afterwards on my trip i went to Seville and of course noticed theu looked as pretty as those back in marrakech so didn’t even think trying one.

    • Lol ???? same happened to me but in Marrakech…oh damn sour but so tempting looking. Then afterwards on my trip i went to Seville and of course noticed theu looked as pretty as those back in marrakech so didn’t even think trying one.