The Red Rose of the Orange Family
This strikingly beautiful fruit is also one of the sweetest in the citrus family. Blood Oranges are juicy, sweet and slightly less acidic than regular oranges. They have a distinctive flavor, which hints of raspberry in addition to the rich orange flavor. The name comes from their extraordinary crimson red flesh.
History of the Blood Orange: Red is the New Orange
Citrus experts believe that Blood Oranges are a natural mutation, in which the genetic levels of a sweet orange changed and produced an orange with red-colored flesh, juice and rind. The fruit was so interesting that those who saw it continued to propagate the variety. No one knows exactly where this took place, but most people suspect it was in the Mediterranean.
This quite old variety first appeared in Southern Europe around 1850, although blood oranges may have been known of earlier. “Red oranges” were first mentioned as in Sicily in the Jesuit Ferrari’s opera Hesperides in 1646. According to his account, these oranges were brought to Italy from the Philippines by a Genovese missionary.
Ferrari’s mention isn’t the only record of blood oranges. They also appear in a painting by the Tuscan artist Bartolomeo Bimbi and in illustrations by the botanist Micheli, both of whom lived in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Blood Oranges were eventually brought to North America by Spanish and Italian immigrants. They are also known as Pigmented oranges, Sanguina, Sanguine, Rubies, Blush or Moro oranges.
Did You Know?
Oranges have traditionally been associated with fertility because the orange tree can produce flowers, fruit and foliage simultaneously.
Choosing a Blood Orange
- Select one that is shiny and heavy in your hand.
- Make sure it is firm and that there are no soft spots or wrinkly skin.
- Look for thin, finely textured skin.
- Smell the orange to make sure it is fragrant.
- Red skin color does not guarantee that it will be a deep red on the inside.
How to Care For and Store
California Blood Oranges should be stored in a cool, well ventilated area. Typically, storing oranges between 45° and 48° F is best. Blood Oranges can stay at room temperature for 3 or 4 days. If refrigerated, they can be kept for up to 2 weeks.
People have incorporated blood oranges into home remedies for centuries. They are known for their high amounts of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber.
- Heart healthy:
- fat-free, saturated fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free
- Muscle efficiency:
- the potassium in a blood orange helps transmit nerve impulses to muscles, improve muscle contraction and maintain normal blood pressure1
- a good source of fiber – with nearly 30% of the daily recommended amount, its fiber content helps fill you up and satisfy hunger2
- an excellent source of vitamin C to help heal wounds and keep your teeth and gums healthy3 – just one medium orange provides 130% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C!
12007 American Heart Association, Inc. Nutrition Facts. | The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency to help reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
2Copyright 1997-2007, A.D.A.M., Inc. | Search MedlinePlus® to find authoritative consumer health information
3Copyright 1997-2007, A.D.A.M., Inc. | Search MedlinePlus® to find authoritative consumer health information
Nutritional Information Panel
|Serving Size||1 Medium Orange (154g)|
Amount Per Serving
|Calories||80||Calories from Fat||0|
|Amount||% Daily Value*|
|Vitamin A||2%||Vitamin C||130%|
|* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|
|Source: PMA's Labelling Facts|
How to Enjoy
- Try freshly squeezed blood orange juice, just like the Europeans drink it!
- Incorporate the juice into your favorite cocktail.
- Try making “blood orange” chicken for a deeper flavor.
- Peel and eat for a quick, easy and nutritious snack on the go!
- Toss orange slices with any salad to add color, sweetness and extra nutrition.
- Add slices to yogurt for a light snack or breakfast.
Blood Orange Tips
- 2 to 4 squeezed oranges = 1 cup orange juice
- 1 medium orange has 10 to 12 section pieces
- 1 medium orange = 4 teaspoons of orange zest
- Juice the orange just before drinking to retain the most vitamins.
- Never store freshly squeezed juice for more than 48 hours.