Boil the shaddock whole

I’m always on the hunt for interesting old recipes; I don’t necessarily make whatever the dish is, but I’m just fascinated by the ingredients, the instructions, the methods of cooking and the occasional oddity which creeps into some old food columns in newspapers and magazines.

For example, on the wonderful National Library of Australia site, Trove, I came across this:

Shaddock Jam

  • boil the shaddock whole in plenty of water, the water to be changed two or three times
  • … and as soon as the shaddocks can be pierced with a straw, take them up, and when cool cut in quarters
  • … and scrape out the inside
  • sprinkle sugar over them, and let them stand for a day or two
  • then make a syrup out of one pound of sugar to a pint of water
  • let it boil awhile, then put in the shaddocks, and let them boil until a beautiful thickness.

This recipe was by ‘A. H. E.’ who wrote ‘I have tested them all and found them excellent‘.

But what are shaddocks? I immediately thought of haddocks, but obviously you wouldn’t make haddock jam – then wondered if they were like marrows, or maybe some sort of shrub… in fact shaddocks are a fruit. They were named  after Captain Shaddock, who introduced the fruit to the Barbados in the 17th century. In fact we would call them pomeloes, and in case you don’t know what a pomelo is, it’s a type of citrus fruit with bright green skin, a thick pith and pale green flesh. It looks a bit like a large knobbly grapefruit.

Whether Captain Shaddock brought them directly from south Asia into the West Indies, I’ve no idea, but that is where citrus maxima/citrus grandis originated from. They are also called pomello, pummelo, pommelo, pamplemousse, or jabong.

In the same little article about shaddock jam there were two other recipes and some helpful advice. The recipes were for gingerbread puddings (sound delicious!) and a good corn cake (also delicious) The helpful advice was from Matilda.:

To Prevent Sunburn. — Matilda is informed that a good preventative against sunburning is to powder the face before going on a days outing. If going on the water it is not at all a bad place to take a puff box, and occasionally apply the powder, as the sun seems to have more effect when on the water ; besides, if any wind is stirring, it is liable to blow the powder off, making occasional application of the puff necessary.

So now you know!

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