When is an Orange not Orange ?

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A blood orange a day keeps the doctor away.

Ok, I agree.  “An apple a day” does have a better ring to it.  But it’s been working quite well for me so far.  During the entire month of February, I ate at least 1 or 2 blood oranges a day.  Talk about taking advantage when a certain fruit is in season!  They were just too good to resist, and just too stunning to look at.  A bowl full of these oranges always sat on my counter, and I often wondered what shades of red, orange and even purple they would have inside.

Blood OrangesAs soon as they arrived at the markets here a couple of months ago, I tried a few to find my favorite.  That was easy: Moro from Italy. My market guy always pushed the larger varieties saying they were better to eat out of hand, and the smaller Moro variety was best for juicing.  He pointed to the Tarocco, also from Italy, saying it was a bit sweeter.  For someone with a wild sweet tooth like myself, you might be surprised that I stuck with my little Moros.  The acidity didn’t bother me, and even more, the color just fascinated me. When I eat a blood orange, I want it to be vivid.  Otherwise, what’s the fun?

The Taroccos may have been sweeter, but most of the time, they were just plain… orange. Unfortunately I never even had the opportunity to photograph the small Moros last month.  I would peel them and eat them! I tossed slices with mache lettuce and avocado, and added chopped pieces to fruit salads — adds a burst of color, not to mention flavor.


And so, a Moro a day for a month. Until last week.  “What?!”  I exclaimed incredulously, “No more Moros?”  I regained composure and went with a different variety, which is omnipresent at the moment: Sanguinelli. Disappointed I was not.  I grabbed my husband’s vintage juicer, a 1950’s model that I found for him on ebay (he loves fresh squeezed orange juice – and anything yellow!). Each half orange gave me about 2 large tablespoons of juice.  Three oranges, and I had a nice tall glass – that didn’t last very long.  Hints of sweetness, acidity and a powerful punch of citrus.  The color of your oranges — and juice — will vary dramatically.  For me this morning, it more resembled pink grapefruit juice, as one orange didn’t have a deep color like the others.  Delicious nonetheless.

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Jack McNulty of Laughing Lemon, a fantastic resource for food and wine information here in Zürich, did a great piece on blood oranges a few weeks ago.  The perfect read while you sip a glass of juice!  Enjoy your colorful and delicious dose of Vitamin C, with a bit of additional information too!

16 Responses to “When is an Orange not Orange ?”

  1. FN says:

    YES!! They are so good juiced! We bought a few of them in the President Wilson market and then we drank a lot of blood-orange juice in Venice while there on vacation.

    I am a convert, I don’t even care about the Vitamin C – just on the taste alone.

  2. Orangeir says:

    Yes … this has been a wonderful season for oranges. You might also find some special varieties at zerouno gusto at schaffhauserplatz, schaffhauserstrasse 43 (next to the 33 bus stop). Last week I had an amazing variety striped orange-red. And ever so sweet.

  3. Kerrin says:

    FN, I’m with you — it’s all about the taste !

    Orangeir, thanks for the tip. I don’t know ZeroUno Gusto, but just found their site and it’s definitely on my “to go to” list now. “Shoes and Bar” – so fun, thanks again !! Here’s the site, if anyone else is curious too: http://www.zerouno.ch/ Looks like a treasure trove for wine and spirits fans…

  4. Orangeir says:

    Look forward to your trip reportage on ZeroUno!

  5. Steve says:

    Knock knock
    who’s there?
    Orange who?
    Orange you glad all oranges aren’t orange 🙂

    Ok, maybe i’m a little bored. But as always, loved the info and pictures. Thanks.

  6. Sarah Musi says:

    ha, i’m actually holding a blood orange in my hand right now (about to devour it). switzerland was the first place i encountered them. i think i was about 13 or so. i started seeing them in the states several years later but most people wouldn’t touch them because i guess the name in combination with the color turns people off. but i was like “who cares? these things are friggin’ awesome!”

    i love how the color has so much to do with the flavor; the more red, the more wine-like the taste. so good. thanks for this post!

  7. Lani says:

    The sweet/tarte taste comes thru in your fabulous photos. I need to go out now and buy some blood oranges. I hope that they are as delicious as you make it sound. I love the vintage juicer! As a kid my grandmother used to make her granddaughters juice with her juicer. It certainly brings back great memories.

  8. CrossRoads says:

    A blood orange a day keeps the doctor away. Is it?
    However I used to know like this: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away. ”
    What fruit it is, I know one fact that’s all veggies and fruits are to keep the doctor away, no:)

  9. CatherineM. says:

    I love blood oranges! They are bountiful at the farmer’s market, and are soooooo juicy! I’ll never eat a normal orange again.

  10. ? ? Martinha ? ? says:


    I found your blog , by the best travel blog 2008..


    I love it..

    I’ll come back + ..



  11. Chantal says:

    Mmm. I need to get out my juicer! It’s not vintage, but it will do the trick. Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Shaun says:

    I threw the first one I tasted away since I thought there was something wrong with it. Now I know better…. pretty dumb huh…

  13. Robert Aguilera says:

    Citrus always gets me running for the market. I used to have lemon, lime and orange juice the minute I got home from school in my younger years. We used to have a hand-crafted steel, hand juicer for the task of juicing. I love the juicer you have though. It would have sped up the enjoyment of my favorite juices. Blood orange season is far too short. Especially because it is great when paired with chocolate.

  14. MsGourmet says:

    I love blood orange so much that about four years ago I decided to plant one in my garden – nothing like growing your own citrus!

  15. Jessica says:

    This made me think of you… 🙂

    Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake!

  16. Kerrin says:

    Shaun, definitely not dumb. Hey, if you don’t know – opening an orange and seeing dark purple can be quite a shock – I am sure you are not the only one to have had that reaction. And now you know…!

    Robert, I’m intrigued… blood orange and chocolate? Do elaborate, please!. What would you recommend for my first taste of this combination??

    MsGourmet, wow how fabulous, your very own supply when you want them! What kind of blood oranges are they?

    Jessica, did you say “blood orange olive oil cake”?? I think so – and I think I’ll be baking that really soon! Better hurry up, before blood orange season is over! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    And last but not least, Steve, thank you for the giggle! Nothing like a good ole “knock knock” joke!! 🙂

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