What’s So Special About Blood Oranges?bianca
Blood oranges have been around for hundreds of years, but recently it seems like they’re on everyone’s radar. These sweet tangy treats are so popular that people are getting extra creative with them, from color-popping margaritas to refreshing salads.
So, what are blood oranges? They’re a close cousin to navel oranges but are smaller and darker on the inside. Just like their cousins, blood oranges need to be grown in warm, temperate climates like California or Florida.
Want to see if blood oranges are really worth the hype? Read on and find out!
Juicy facts about blood oranges
Blood oranges originated in Sicily, Italy and they were first documented in the early 1600s, as a combo between a tangelo and pomelo. Later on, they came in handy as a cure for scurvy (a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency) along with citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons and other vitamin C – rich foods.
The most common blood orange types that you’ll find in stores are Morro and Tarcco, but there’s more. There are 15 other varieties in total, including Sanguinello, Matlese, Khanpur, Washington Sanguine, Ruby Blood, Sanguina Dobla Fina, Delfine, Red Valencia, Burris Blood Valencia, Vaccaro, Sanguine grosse ronde, Entra Fina, and lastly, Sanguinello a pignu.
Nowadays, the peels of blood oranges are commonly used in oils for sodas and cosmetic products.
When are blood oranges in season?
Blood oranges typically grow on citrus fruit trees and are harvested between February to Early March. But when are they available? You’ll find this fruit in the store from October to March, but it depends on the type of blood orange.
There are two varieties that you’ll typically find in grocery stores: Moro and Tarocco. Morros are available from November to March, whereas Taroccos can be found anytime between January to May.
Blood oranges vs. navel oranges
Blood oranges are closely related to navel oranges, so they’re similar in many ways. Let’s start with color. The inside of a blood orange is a deep red color, which is how it got its name, but with navel oranges, the inside is orange. Both oranges have similar amounts of vitamin C for nutrition.
The difference between these two varieties of orange is that blood oranges have an antioxidant called anthocyanin. This antioxidant gives blood oranges their distinct color, but it also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Also, the blood orange is less tangy than a navel orange but has a floral tart taste.
Health benefits of blood oranges
Consuming blood oranges comes with many health benefits. The anthocyanin present in the fruit helps reduce cardiovascular disease risk and has anti-cancer properties. Other antioxidants that blood oranges have are coumaric acid and hydroxycinnamic acid, found in most fruits and coffee.
Similar to navel oranges, they have a high amount of fiber going into nutrients. Most importantly, they provide lots of vitamins like vitamin C, B, and potassium.
Creative ways to use blood oranges
Since blood oranges have a unique floral tart taste, there are many ways to use them. A blood orange margarita is your new best friend if you love tequila. The sweetness from the agave and the tartness of the blood orange creates a floral yet cooling drink to have on a lovely spring day.
If your menu is looking for a pop of color, add blood oranges to a salad like a blood orange fennel salad, a healthy, colorful option for your customers. As for dessert, an upside-down blood orange cake is the perfect refreshing sweet treat. The softness of the cake and the sweet-tangy taste of the blood orange will bring warmth to guests with one bite.
Where can you find blood oranges?
If you’re looking to add some sweet tang to your special of the week, you’re in luck, Riviera Produce has that for you. If you want to add them to a salad special or a drink special, get them at Riviera Produce, a business-to-business produce provider that supplies fresh blood oranges.
Blood oranges are a small yet sweet-tart fruit in the orange navel family and have a dark pink/red color inside that can make any drink or dessert pop because of its color and flavor profile. Now that we’re in the month of March, you can find blood oranges at Riviera Produce, so go ahead and place your order!