When you think of oranges, you think of this citrus fruit being the color of its name: orange. But there is an interesting variety that has the orange-colored skin but a crimson colored flesh when you cut it. This variety is the blood oranges or pigmented oranges.
Blood or Pigmented Oranges
Many consider these particular oranges, blood or pigmented oranges, to be of greater importance in Europe than in the United States. The two categories of this type are the light blood orange and the deep blood orange. Basically, the skin and fruit of this type range from pink to red and in other ways are most similar to common oranges.
Blood Oranges were first discovered in Italy in 1646. With their distinct color they were called “red” oranges. They are still grown in Sicily today where they were first cultivated. The high concentration of anthocyanin (water-soluble vacuolar pigments that appear red, purple or blue depending on the pH and that occur in tissues, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits). These pigments are what give the blood orange rind, the flesh, and the juice their characteristic red color.
Today the majority of the blood oranges are mutations of the standard orange. Besides their crimson flesh color, they have a remarkable sweetness and are prized for their juiciness, flavor, and distinct color.
These particular oranges have a thinner skin than most common oranges, and they do have seeds, although not as many as other oranges. They peel easily and are ready to eat, but watch out for the juice because it can stain your clothing.
If you do find the blood oranges in the US, they may be imported from Europe, although in the Western Hemisphere you can find them in February. Some are grown in California, Texas, and Florida. The various species of the blood oranges are the Sanguinello, the Moro, and the Tarocco. If you’re interested in these types, check for specialty grocery stores to see if they’re available in your area.
Interestingly enough, the blood orange, because of its distinct flavor and color, is considered the most delicious of the juice oranges and is used in traditional marmalade (Seville marmalade) is the one of choice. You can also use them in a variety of desserts as well as in green salads and in citrus dressings. Some consider their flavor as having a hint of tartness similar to the grapefruit along with a touch of the flavor of berries. Blood oranges have about 48 grams of carbohydrates per orange, no fat or cholesterol of course, but some calcium and fiber, and Vitamins A and C.
If you can find them, they will add color and enjoyment to your meals, so enjoy them!
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Let’s look at the acidless oranges.
Also referred to as sugar or acidless oranges, they are a small grouping of low acid varieties of citrus fruit because they lack acidity, have a rather insipid flavor, and their seeds have a cream-colored spot on them which is darker than more acid forms of citrus fruits and the sweet orange.
These types of oranges are an early season fruit. They are not the type of oranges to use for processing because of the lack of acid. They are probably more common in other countries such as Spain, France, North Africa, Turkey, and Egypt and Brazil. Because they spoil quickly, they are very unsuitable for exporting, so they may be very hard to find, especially in the United States.
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