Buyer's Guide to Florida Citrus

Buying Seville Oranges

The Bottom Line

The Seville is an intense, "orangey," sour fruit that is used not for eating, but for cooking. Recipes from around the world call on its unique attributes. Sour oranges have been in use for thousands of years.

Buy Seville Oranges


The Seville orange has a thick, dimpled, deep orange skin, powerfully fragrant with orange aroma and essence. Inside, you'll find pale, juicy flesh and many seeds.


Don't come to the Seville expecting sweet navel flavor! This ancient fruit is quite sour, even somewhat bitter, yet its tangy and deep taste is treasured by many. The Seville is well known for its traditional role in marmalade, but it has a thousand other uses as well, from beverages to salad dressings to desserts and sauces for meats and vegetables.


A ripe Seville is extremely juicy, which is important, since you typically do not eat the pulp of the fruit. The juice and peel are its main products.


The Seville is a fairly seedy fruit, but since it isn't eaten out of hand, this really isn't a concern. Seeds can easily be strained from juice, and are actually an advantage for marmalade–making. They contain pectin, which thickens the jam. Traditionally, the seeds are tied into a cheesecloth bag while the jam is prepared, then removed at the end of the cooking process.

Eating out of hand

We don't eat this one out of hand! The Seville is an "ingredient" fruit, offering amazing possibilities for every course of the meal, from cocktails through dessert.


Sevilles are available to you from November through March. Many customers like to purchase Sevilles for holiday marmalade making.

Best Used For

The #1 use of Seville oranges is marmalade, but they are also commonly used in desserts, marinades, and beverages. The Seville is crucial to a number of ethnic specialty foods beloved in countries around the world.

Why Should I Buy Sevilles?

Foodies, jam–makers, and those with roots in cultures that use the Seville will want to buy Sevilles because they know how hard these are to locate in stores, especially fresh and of good quality. The Seville's "big" flavor is different from table oranges — you just have to experience it to understand it.

Interesting Facts

Marmalade, a slightly bitter, very orangey jam that is extremely popular in Great Britain (especially Scotland), is traditionally made with the Seville orange due to its superior peel quality and flavor.

The word "marmalade" derives from the Portuguese "marmello," or quince, a different fruit that was used hundreds of years ago to make a fruit paste somewhat like a jam. The popularity of this paste spread, and eventually the Scottish began making a dark jam with bitter oranges called marmaladoo, marmalado, or marmelet.

Marmalade is a favorite of the fictional talking teddy, Paddington Bear.


The sour orange is thought to be native to Southeast Asia. It was brought to the Mediterranean and Africa many hundreds of years ago, in approximately the 10th century. and then spread to Europe, particularly Spain (hence the name Seville, for Seville, Spain), in the 12th century. Soon the sour orange was introduced to the new world, including Florida and the Caribbean. Sour oranges still can be found growing wild in these areas. The sour orange was the only orange known for thousands of years, giving cultures around the world a lot of time to develop recipes and traditions around it.

© 1996-2019 Vegetable Kingdom Inc., PO Box 530456, St. Petersburg, FL 33747 All rights reserved.
Florida Fruit Shippers® is a registered trademark of Vegetable Kingdom Inc.