Articles & Recipes
  The Versatile Orange

Iwill focus this article on a versatile fruit, the orange. Unlike so many other fruit found on produce stands, the orange is one to be enjoyed throughout the year. Just the sight of this fruit is enough to elevate one's mood. Cut the orange open, and the effect is as bracing as an ocean breeze. Whether one drinks its juice or savors its zest, the orange is a fruit for all seasons.

Native to Southeast Asia

      Native to Southeast Asia, the orange was so admired by early traders that they carried to the West long before the birth of Christ. In time, Christopher Columbus carried orange seeds on his second voyage to the Americas. In 1493, he planted the first orange grove in the New World.

      The orange (or "golden apple" as the Greeks and Romans called it), was thought to be the food of the gods. It was a favored and valued gift for an emperor and surely a guest in Imperial Rome could measure his importance by the number of oranges that decorated the host's table.

What types of oranges are available?

      There are three basic varieties. Thin-skinned oranges have a smooth skin that is somewhat difficult to peel. They are usually plump and sweet, ideal for juicing. Varieties include Valencia and blood oranges.  Thick-skinned oranges include the navel, which is large, seedless and easy to peel, making them excellent eating oranges. Bitter oranges like Seville and Bigarade are used almost exclusively for making marmalade.

How versatile is fruit in cooking?

      Traditionally we think of fresh fruit as either a snack or dessert. In many national cuisines, fruit is integrated into a main course recipe. They may be used to flavor essentially savory dishes as Sole Veronique (sole with green grapes), or add special qualities as Persian Fesinjjun (pomegranate syrup and walnuts over rice and duck). Fruit is often used to cut the richness of some meats as well.

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