Why did I assume dalanghita and dalandan were one and the same? Duhh…
They aren’t, obviously, it seems. :) My first post EVER on marketmanila was this very brief one on dalandan or citrus aurantium (otherwise known as sour oranges or bitter oranges). That was nearly 7 years ago! I went on to write about dalandan juice, a dalandan topiary and a recipe of grilled garlic butter prawns with dalandan juice. And even though I was aware that my mom always seemed to buy “naranjita” the spanish name for dalanghita, I never actually figured out that the two oranges were different. But now I know. Dalanghita or mandarin oranges (that remain green I guess) are citrus nobilis (according to stuartxchange and other web sources), and while a relatively close cousin of citrus aurantium (dalandans), they are different enough. Not sure how much cross-breeding must be going on in the wild… but that’s for a botanist to figure out.
All of this was a result of a conversation with sister a few months ago, where she wondered if making marmalade out of dalandan might work because dalandans are fairly close to seville oranges that produced a nicely bitter and much sought after marmalade. So at the markets last Saturday, I spied some dalanghita and wondered if they would make a good marmalade… I purchased a couple of kilos, went into the kitchen and made a few bottles worth of dalanghita or naranjita marmalade. The jam was good, certainly edible, but not knock-your-socks-off brilliant. It didn’t have enough flavor for me, lacked acidity, and it wasn’t terribly bitter at all. It is THEN that I looked the oranges up and realized I hadn’t used dalandan, which I will try when dalandans are in season in a few months time… As for the bottle of dalanghita/naranjita jam… hmmm, maybe a glaze for chicken or duck or something. :)