All year round, citrus fruits delight the taste buds of millions while delivering loads of healthy goodness. You can select from a range of citrus fruits in all grocery stores throughout the continent. In tropical countries, the choice is even bigger.
You can buy tangerines, clementines, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, lime, ugli fruit, just to name a few.
Now, in many cities blood oranges have started becoming popular, mainly because of improved transportation from Spain and Sicily (main sources to date), but now California is starting to ship as well.
Blood orange is specie of oranges with almost blood coloured flesh. They are smaller than regular oranges, and have a pitted skin. The red colour comes from antocyans.
The three main varieties are – tarocco (native to Sicily and classified as D O P (Denominacione di Origine Protetta), sanguilla (Spain) and moro. Now more are becoming available – maltese, khapur, Washington sanguilla, ruby blood, sanguilla doble fina, delfino, burris, vaccaro, sanguilla grosso rondo, sanguilla a peju, of which maltese is the sweetest,
Blood oranges originate (a natural selection) in China or Southern Mediterranean and grow mainly in Sicily and Southern Spain where diurnal temperature variations help the fruit develop its considerable antioxidant content.
In the USA, Texas and California are major producers.
Blood oranges are rich in vitamins C, thiamine, calcium, and folate. They can be juiced, used for making marmalades, in baking (zests)l and cakes.
Some bartenders use blood orange juice in cocktails for special effects.