Flavor of the month for March: Orange-Kirschwasser-ola

orange+label+1.jpg

A note from the cook:  I grew up in Vietnam where the oranges weren’t orange. Kumquats, mandarins, persimmons, and papaya were orange. Dragonfruit were purple. Oranges were green.

One year—I must have been 5 or 6 but I remember this vividly—we did have

orange

oranges, which I’m guessing were a treasure discovered at the military PX, imported from Florida. An extravagant reminder of home for expats. I remember them cut in wedges, eating the fruit off those beautiful peels, and then saving the peels in a can to dry. Later my parents made candy by cutting the peel in strips and boiling it in syrup until it crystallized.

Those childhood memories of sweet, tangy, bitter, and shockingly orange orange peel inspired this month’s recipe. As usual, realizing an idea had its challenges. For one thing, I couldn’t find any reasonably priced unsulphered orange peel, which means a temporary loss of the “all” in all-natural. Sorry about that. And as much as my kids loved the candied orange peel I made, it was just too chewy for granola so we ate it all. We settled for a combination of granulated and softer glazed peel, diced, soaked in top-notch organic kirsch (cherry brandy) from Switzerland, then tossed into the granola halfway through baking along with the raisins and a combination of Montmorency and Bing cherries.

I would have loved to have turned this whole comfort-food thing on its head by using green orange peels—I would bet they’re just as good. Alas, despite citrus originating in Southeast Asia, I think the US has been remiss in importing tropical oranges. A plan for another day.

But for now, it’s time to get your orders in. As of last night, we are in production and orders will start going out this week.

Ingredients: oats (org), spelt (org), rye (org), Sucanat (org minimally processed cane sugar), honey, canola oil (expeller pressed), raisins, sesame seeds (org), sunflower seeds (org), wheat germ, oat bran (org), walnuts, almonds, coconut (org), pecan meal, Montmorency dried cherries, dried Bing cherries, flax seeds (org), glazed orange peel, oat fiber, granulated orange peel, kirsch (org), vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt, nutmeg, almond extract.