Some of you already know how darn lovely the lesser-spotted blood orange is - so we won't rave on and on about how good these crimson beauties taste. Unfortunately, they only have a very short season in late winter and now is the time to get your hands on them. If you’ve never slurped on one, you are sure to enjoy it - they are truly exquisite.
We would like to pay homage to this much over-looked fruit and get to know the blood orange a little bit better.
Where did they get their name?
It won’t come of a massive shock to learn that these gorgeous citrus fruits are named after their colouring. Give one a good squeeze and you’ll see its ruby red juice appear. Very different than the yellowish tone of its more common orangey cousin.
The micro-climate temperatures that they are grown in encourages the creation of anthocyanin – common to aubergine, cranberries and raspberry - which gives them their deep reddish colouring.
How should I keep them?
They stop ripening after coming off the tree. So, they can stay fresh and be eaten days after picking. Store them at room temperature for several days or keep them in an airtight bag or container in your refrigerator if you’re not going to be eating them in the next week.
Where do they grow?
These tropical fruits like hot countries. Originating in Sicily and Spain, you’ll sometimes hear them referred to as ‘Sicilian oranges’. Due to their surge in popularity, you’ll also now find blood oranges grown in Texas, California and a few other American states with the right kind of climate.
What do they taste of?
They are sweet and slightly less tart than orangey oranges and their aromas are more intense. You might detect tones of berries such as raspberry or strawberry. Their distinctive taste that has earned them a growing legion of fans.
What can you use them for?
Get the most from their lovely looks by serving their segments simply – in elegant fruit desserts, savoury salads, to garnish cocktails and for topping tarts or zesty cheesecakes. Or mush them to pieces and enjoy their sweet flesh in jams, meat rubs and juices.
They are a symbol of prosperous marriage because they can bear ripe fruit AND blossom at the same time. So, next time you’re wondering what wedding gift to buy…