Story of Dundee

Main Piece: Scottish Story


From my friend Liv, who’s grandfather was born and raised in Scotland:


“Dundee is a town of around 150,000 residents on the east coast of Scotland.  It is known as the city of ‘jute, jam and journalism’.  Dundee is built on the river Tay estuary and was a trading center dating as far back as the 12th century.  Textiles, trading and shipbuilding were the center of the Dundee economy.  There is a story told to all elementary school kids when telling of Dundee’s glory days:  In the late 1700’s a ship of oranges from Seville, Spain had to seek refuge in Dundee harbor because of inclement weather.  Unfortunately, the delay caused by the storm caused the oranges to age and they were sold at a discount to Janet Keiller.  She was an accomplished cook and baker and she created the first marmalade with a rind present in the recipe and resulting preserve.  The Keiller family, then manufactured a large quantity of this particular brand of marmalade. The international distribution of this marmalade began in the 19th century when it was shipped throughout the British Empire and to this day it can be purchased throughout the world.”




Liv is a freshman at USC, and she told me of her grandfather who had been born and raised in Scotland, but is now living in the US. I asked her if he ever told her stories about home, and she gave me this one. Her grandfather told a lot of stories from home, and almost all were new to her because she was born and raised in New Jersey and wasn’t aware of them beforehand.

She likes this story in particular because it gives her a sort of cultural heritage that would not be felt if she didn’t have anything to relate to from her grandfather’s past. Although she is not from Scotland, she still holds this story as if it is part of her and where she was originally from.




Liv tells me her grandfather mentioned to her that this is a story told to elementary school kids about the prosperity in Dundee where he is from. This is more so a historical account of the region but it is a sense of pride for the inhabitants because of its mention of an event in history that accounted for the creation of a popular spread used worldwide nowadays.

The only other context this story would be used in would be history books talking about the creation of Orange Marmalade, or something outlining the history of Dundee and how it became to be prosperous at one time or another.


My Thoughts:


I found this story pretty interesting because I did not know where or how orange marmalade was invented, and I always find those facts to be pretty interesting. I doubt this would be used much outside of the given contexts, but it is a pretty interesting fact to pull up when talking about where their family is from.