Introducing The Ugli-est Tapa We’ve Ever Made
& A Love-Story

Sadly, neither of the parents were prepared to show-up for this family portrait, but we managed to persuade some other willing citrus to be stand-ins for the occasion.

One day, not so long ago, a Jamaican grapefruit with a twinkle in his eye spied a sweet and winsome-looking tangerine. A couple of witty one-liners later, perhaps with the aid of one or more adult beverages, the grapefruit and the tangerine fell on each other with inevitable consequences. Several months later, to the dismay of the parents, rather than the beautiful offspring they were wishing for, a misshapen, thick-skinned brute emerged.

However, unlike many ugly ducklings, this beast, try as he might, remained ugly. So much so, that wherever he went, people and citrus fruit alike would holler at him, calling him “Uuuugliii” (pronounced ooo-glee). What these meanies didn’t know was that beneath his hideous exterior, our Ugli was not only attractive and bright on the inside, but sweet and not a little juicy too, and soon began to become famous in his own right for this hidden personality.


Then, one joyful day, much to his surprise, Ugli found himself sitting on a wooden block in a Brooklyn kitchen. Before he had time to comprehend the gravity of the situation, his skin had been removed with a razor-sharp blade and his plump flesh sliced into supremes. Had he still been conscious, I am sure he would have been pleased to know that what remained of him was squeezed and mixed with an expensive olive oil making a kick-ass citrus vinaigrette that worked perfectly as a a sauce for a very simple tapa/pintxo of marinated fresh anchovies (boquerones) and slices of buttery avocado. The End.

Fresh Anchovy, Avocado & Ugli Fruit Tapa
Boquerones (Fresh Anchovy) with Ugli Fruit and Avocado Tapa

1 package boquerones (flat-filleted, fresh anchovies marinated in oil and vinegar) (about 6oz)

1 ugli fruit, skinned and supremed

1/2 loaf crusty French or Italian-style bread, cut into thin rounds

1/2 avocado, sliced into 1/4inch pieces

juice of 1/2 ugli fruit

2tbsp best olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste



Add juice, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined.

Spear anchovies, “ugli supremes” and avocado slices with toothpicks and stick to bread rounds.

Drizzle with dressing and serve with a nice dry Manzanilla or Fino sherry.

27 thoughts on “Introducing The Ugli-est Tapa We’ve Ever Made
& A Love-Story

  1. ooh…I was enjoying this sweet story till we got to the gory part in the Brooklyn kitchen. I actually felt for the poor fruit as its skin was removed and it was dissected. Talk about meanies! P.S. I’m sure it made a nice vinaigrette and I love vinegared boquerones.

  2. There is a doll called an Oogli monster!
    He has one eye, he is in every kid boutique window in the boroughs.

    He would look nice paired with a nice Rioja on your tapas plate, wearing a scarf of boquerones around his neck.

  3. Damn! that looks and sounds luscious. Just wish I had a source for fresh sardines (are you suggesting that they are available canned?). Did you know that the Tangelo is the apparent full brother to the Ugli Fruit? However, rather than ugly, I’ve always thought the Tangelo the most attractive of citrus (love those nipples!).

    I’m enjoying your blog – and your choice of music too – Ochoa is a favorite of mine.

  4. That sounded like a citrus massacre. All you needed was some overplayed blood oranges, and then it would’ve been full on war.

    Asian people prop these Ugli fruits on their mantels and pray to them. We buy as many as possible worshipping the wholeness of the fruit. We are also into the “more is more” concept and find the size endearing.

    Sounds good with boquerones. Cutting that fishiness. Thanks for the quick tapa.

  5. Is it just me, or have you guys been getting all platey lately? Did someone get some high-end cookbooks for a gift recently, or are you just whoring it up for Cakespotting? (If so, here’s a helpful hint: make more cake.)

    I’ve been having big anchovy cravings lately. I think I’m pregnant.

  6. I think I really need to introduce more tapas into my life, some nice sherry, a few salted almonds and several of these popped into my mouth would be very nice thankyou.
    You pulled off an extreme makeover on this lumpy fella, he looks lovely by the end.

  7. I love the story and I love Ooo-glee. It’s about time someone waxed poetic (or drunkenly?) about it’s merits as the red-headed stepchild of the citrus world.

  8. I’d love to have that ugli fruit. I want to plant it in my backyard too. Wow, I love anchovies, never combine them with citrus, but sounds mighty delicious.

  9. Love your site, first time visitor. Your pictures are damn sexy, vibrant and mouth watering! Effin yummy! Will be back for more for sure!

  10. Love it! And isn’t it funny, but I stopped in at my local Primeur – fruit and veg sellers – and saw the Ugli fruit and thought to myself “Hmmm, interesting. What can I make with that?” Et voilà!

  11. I’ve seen these, but shallow as it sounds, I never bought one because they’re so hideous (well it was more the fact that they seemed like more skin than flesh). I may have to reconsider my judgmental ways and give these things a try.

  12. Us greeks marinade fresh anchovies as well (we call the fish “gavros”) and they are a wondeful meze…love that parallel between Spanish and Greek food.

    This is good eats…damn well done!

  13. I had Ugli fruit once, and was…kind of disappointed. It reminded me of pomello – all skin, no substance. That said, I’m still a bit of a fruit whore so I wouldn’t bat a plate of ugli away if it landed on my table. Great looking tapas! I have such a crush on anchovies.

  14. i need to get some boquerones. like seriously. i keep filling up my la tienda shopping cart and then shutting down the page. i get to like $400 and it’s like – CARAZEE!!! but i want all that amazing canned shellfish… i have almost placed an order like 10x. but then i spend all my $ at market hall foods.

    thank god i don’t smoke, do drugs or drink to excess. i’d be in the poorhouse.

    1. so true… la tienda IS dangerous for credit cards. but, honestly, the boquerones are worth it for a special treat. we had about 30 at least in our package and the ones we bought were actually from italy. but they were DELICIOUS. the la tienda one is about $5 more than what we paid for here:

      i know you don’t live in nyc, but you may be able to find fresh anchovies for a bit cheaper on another site or around your area. i recommend it, though, for a special treat.

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