Spring produces one the most amazing anomalies of citrus, blood oranges. The deep red, sweet, garnet colored flesh tastes as though it has been kissed by a raspberry. This unique citrus fruit is less acidic than other juice oranges. The season for this unique fruit is December through July. Blood oranges come in three varieties, Tarocco, the Moro, and the Sanguigno. Recently they have come into high season and are sweet and succulent.
This fruit was brought to America in the 1930’s by Italian and Spanish immigrants. The exact reason for the red flesh is not known. Scientists think the blood orange is most likely the result of a mutation that occurred in the 17th century in Sicily, Italy. The skin sometimes emits a blush, red color, but not always. The blush skin is not always an indicator of red flesh either, thus choosing them can be tricky if you’re using them for their ruby colored flesh. Your local grower will be able to tell you which blood oranges have the greatest depth of color.
When selecting blood oranges, choose them like you would any orange. Look for oranges that are heavy for their size and have a thin skin, indicating a lot of juice.
Use the juice like you would from any orange. They’re great for juicing, the dark ruby flesh makes a fantastic mixer with cocktails, it’s wonderful in sorbets, granitas, compotes, vinaigrettes, sauces and you can use their segments in salads.
Here is an easy recipe for Organic Blood Orange Almond Vinaigrette. Toss this vinaigrette with organic baby greens and raspberries and you will have an incredible salad. This recipe is truly special in that the flavor of the blood orange juice is intensified through reduction. The result, a vinaigrette that has a tremendous amount of depth and flavor.