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Glyko Nerantzi (Green Bitter Oranges fruit preserve)

Bitter orange new

I have already posted the traditional recipe for Nerantzi (Kitromilaki) Bitter Orange Glyko several years ago.

poking bitter oranges


Last year, when we moved to Assini, although it was late August and the fruit was not very soft, I made some of this preserve again.   Unfortunately as there were many things to do as we just moved, the recipe had to wait until now.
To find last year’s recipe, read here.


Removing the stem of bitter oranges


The best period to make “nerantzi” is in July or early August. Instead of making the traditional recipe, I experimented and made it quite different, adding ginger as well.  If you like ginger, you will love the combination of this bittersweet preserve combined with the peppery taste of ginger.

Nerantzi Seville Orange

This year I made the fruit preserve while the bitter oranges were very tender.

Nerantzakia - green bitter oranges

Before preparing the preserve, cut one in the middle to see if the seeds have developed.  If they have you will have to remove them.  You can see in this picture how tender the fruit was.

Tender green bitter oranges nerantzia


Nerantzi glyko, recipe by Ivy


  • 120 fruit the size of a walnut
  • 2 kilos sugar plus 3 cups
  • 11 cups water
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 20 cloves
  • 5 geranium leaves
  • 1 stick cinnamon


  1. Wash the fruit and boil for ten minutes.  Turn off the heat and wait until they can be handled.  Remove the top part where the stem was and poke with a skewer to make holes in the fruit.
  2. Change the water twice every day for 5 days:  You will see that discarded water becomes green.
  3. On 8th day drain and add layers of fruit and sugar.  Add water and wait until it dissolves.  Mix and make sure sugar has dissolved before putting it on the heat.
  4. First time bring at boiling point and boil for 20 minutes.  Leave it on the ceramic stove until late in the afternoon.
  5. Add the peel of 1 lemon, 4 fragrant geranium leaves, 20 cloves and 1 cinnamon stick 2 – 3 inches long. (If you like add ginger but this year I did not have any). Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes.  Leave it on the stove top to cool until the following morning.
  6. Next day, boil again for ten minutes.
  7. In the afternoon bring to a boil again and cook for 15 minutes.  This will have to be repeated until the syrup is ready.  At the end add the lemon juice and cook for 1 more minute.
  8. When it cooled it was placed in sterilized jars but syrup was not enough to cover them.
  9. To fix this, I made a new batch of syrup.  I used 1 kilo sugar, 4 cups water, 1 cup honey, 1 lemon peel and 1 lemon ice cube.
  10. I boiled the syrup for 7 minutes.  I then mixed it with the other syrup and filled the jars.


This time, the procedure was different than last years’.  I first soaked the fruit to remove the bitterness and then made the preserve.  However, any method you choose, the result will be the same.

The biggest pot I have is 11 litres.  The cooking was made on a ceramic stove top which continues cooking until the ceramic cools.  If you will be making it using gas, you will have to adjust the time of cooking.

At the end the syrup was not enough to cover the preserve but even if I wanted to add more sugar and water from the beginning, it would not fit in my 11 litre pot, so I had to do it in two stages.


Bitter orange new


Although we will not be going on vacation, I will be taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks but will still be working.  All these months, I have been working on my new e-cookbook:  “More Than A Greek Salad”.  The cookbook is divided in three parts.    In part one, you will find all information you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet.  In part two you will find over 100 (I haven’t counted them yet 🙂 ) Greek recipes based on the Mediterranean Diet and recipes I cooked while I was on a diet a couple of years ago and managed to loose 18 kilos.  There are a lot of recipes which have never been posted on my blog but also each recipe will contain nutritional information as well as calories of each serving. Part 3 is a Diet Plan, based on the recipes, giving information how much you should eat.

I need some time to do some final editing and hope that in my next post will be able to tell you that it is ready, so wish me luck!

If any one of you wants to review part of the e-cookbook or help in editing, please contact me at ivyliac (at) gmail (dot) com.  A final request. You know the economic situation in Greece and I cannot afford to pay more than $50 for a picture.  I do not have a DSLR camera, so my pictures are just point and shoot with nothing fancy.  I need a photo of a Greek recipe one you already have or are willing to shoot for me, as Soma did in my previous cookbook.   If any of my food blogger friends is willing to do this favour for me, I will much appreciate it and of course credit will be given in the cookbook, which will be sent to you.

You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here. as a title.

Enjoy the rest of summer!


Other relevant recipes:

About Spoon sweets
How can we tell if the syrup is ready?
How to fix spoon sweets
How to sterilize jars
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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11 Responses

  1. Divine! That would go well with some vanilla ice cream.



  2. I never seen this kind of oranges…but from your description, the preserve sounds delicious.
    Hope you too are enjoying summer 😀

    • Ivy

      Juliana maybe next time when you visit Greece again, you will try it.

  3. I love citrus a sweet combination!Sounds wonderful,Ivy!

  4. Wow, wish i get this much fresh green bitter oranges here…Fantastic preserve..

  5. Have a great break… and work well without the pressure of the blog.

    I have never really done any preserving or canning but have really wanted to. I have never seen oranges like this and am really curious as to their taste once preserved. Very cool.

  6. o Ivy, I first thought they were limes…bitter green oranges…how interesting!

  7. Une découverte pour moi. Je ne connais pas ce fruit.
    A bientôt

  8. Myrophora Florou

    Hi I am making Nerantzi peel glyko, and am wondering as the fruit is very bitter and I hate to throw it away, can I make it into jam or something else. Thank you am looking forward to your reply.

    • Ivy

      Hi Myrophora,
      If you are at the stage that you have added the sugar, there nothing much you can do. You should have left the bitter oranges in the water, changing it often, until the bitterness is removed.
      Please tell me at which stage you are, so that I can reply to you more specifically.

  9. Jeffrey

    Hello Ivy! I never seen this kind of oranges but from your description, the preserve sounds delicious. Its so good.