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Monday, January 21, 2013

CIDRA, -O WITH 13TH C RECIPE FOR CITRON LEAF SYRUP


Citron tree, Dahdah Palace,...
Photo from:
 jmlwinder
(the fruit)  citrino, (the tree), cetrino (lemon colored, greenish yellow), OCast çidra, L. Citrus medica, Hebr. citrin, Eng. citron. This is a pale yellow oblong or round fruit shaped like an ostrich egg similar to a lemon but larger, having a thicker rind and being less acid. Formerly, “citron” could be citron or a citrus fruit like the orange. Citron comes from a tree that grows to be three to five meters high in warm countries including the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts of the Iberian Peninsula. It emits an aroma like cidar. The skin is yellow and the pulp is white. It yields little juice. At the beginning of the Christian era, it was taken to Rome from Media, an ancient country that today is NW Iran. The tree, however, did not become established there until the 3rd or 4th C. The Muslims, prior to the 12 C., brought the tree to Spain from Persia. The size varied on the Iberian Peninsula. Although those gown in Andalusia and Valencia were large, those from Genoa were bigger. It has been described as an “Oriental purgatory spice.” The peel, juice and seed are used in medicines for these purposes. Further, it was used to make fruit syrups, liquors and perfume for its aroma. It was cultivated mostly for its spongy rind, which still is candied and often used in fruitcakes but the juice also was used all year on the Mediterranean with roasted foods. Arabs used citrus juice in cooking, but not as frequently as rosewater. During the Feast of the Tabernacle, Jews consume citron during celebrations. Citron came to signify healing and psychic powers. It was used as a remedy against the plague and an antidote against poisoning. In the north, normally citrus fruits were  not available but when they appeared they were sold at exorbitant prices. See costrada. [AUTH. 1976:I:A:343; Covarrubias. 1998:414ES: Herbs. Oct 8, 02; Morton. Apr 2, 99; Usher. 1974:156; and Villena/Calero. 2002:23a]

HOW TO MAKE CITRON LEAF SYRUP ADAPTED FROM ANÓN AL-ANDALUS  #491. JARABE DE HOJAS DE CIDRA. MANERA DE HACERLO, p 269

Ingredients
Citron Syrup Ready to Drink
Photo by: Lord-Williams

50 citron leaves
2 c sugar
1 aloe stem or 1 c aloe juice
1 cinnamon stick about 7” long
3 tsp cloves

Preparation

Rub off the dust on 50 citron leaves with a cloth. Put them in a pot and cover them with water (about 1 qt). Bring to a boil and continue cooking until limp. Add sugar. Add the gel from the aloe stem or juice and the cinnamon stick. Put the cloves in a cloth bag and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil and boil gently until flavorful. Remove from heat.

Strain the liquid and prepare glasses with 1 oz syrup and 3 oz water. The juice is beneficial as it cheers the heart, fortifies internal organs and gently softens the bowels; it is extraordinary.


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