The Orangerie

Photo by @thecuratedfeast at the UCSC Farm

Photo by @thecuratedfeast at the UCSC Farm

Welcome to the Orangerie. 🍊🍊

The first recorded mention of citrus occurs in Sanskrit in about 800 BC, where it is referred to as jambhila. πŸŒΏπŸ‹ Citrus itself, native to Asia, has been used for centuries in a variety of applications. Its fruits were probably brought westward by Alexander the Great. From that introduction, they were revered in Europe and the Middle East. They appeared on wall paintings in the Egyptian temple of Karnak, in beautiful ceramic tiles in Pompeii, and in the mosques that were once the churches of Emperor Constantine.

And now, we whisk you away to the orangerie. This is, literally speaking, a mostly-glass room where you would protect your fruit trees for the winter. β„οΈπŸŒ³β„οΈ But the symbolic value of an orangerie, from the Renaissance to the early 19th century, was as a pure show of one's fashionability and status. The orangerie became a bit like the Cabinet of Curiosities or the Wardian Caseβ€”a place where one could display their worldly knowledge through a personal collection. In the orangerie, just guess what the crown jewel of your collection would be... πŸŠπŸ‹

Citrus itself has been used for centuries to perfume rooms; it has been brought as an offering at templesπŸ™ŒπŸΌ; it was even taken as a treatment for various ailments, including scurvy. Citrus tells tales of empire, wealth, luxury, beauty, and health.πŸŒπŸ’ŽπŸ›πŸ‘ΈπŸΌπŸ’Š

And in your own orangerie, you would entertain your guests with these stories.

Liz PearComment