Oranges are a member of the citrus group of fruiting trees that are considered to be the most cultivated fruiting tree globally. The common sweet orange accounts for 70% of all worldwide citrus production. Originating from China, there are many forms and cultivated varieties, with most having a delicious, sweet and juicy taste but some are a little sour and tart.
Well known types include the Naval, Valencia, Washington Naval and Blood. The thick rind helps to protect the fruit but itself is very versatile for its pungent citrus fragrance to be used in recipes, teas, dressings, vinaigrettes and as a natural insect repellant or cleaning aid.
The colour orange was derived from the name of this citrus, not the other way round. It is thought that the original species is actually a hybrid between pomelo and a mandarin, which has been cultivated for centuries.
The main production season is usually late autumn and through winter in more sub
How to prepare
Oranges taste great as they are, so just peel them, cut into segments or squeeze them for juice. Segments can be enjoyed in all manner of salads.
Finely grate the rind to use as a delicious flavour enhancer in baking, dressings and marinades.
Buyer's and storage guide
The fruit should be free of dark blemishes, firm to the hold, and relatively heavy for their size. A slight green tinge is acceptable.
Preferably store a few fruit in the fridge and a few oranges at room temperature in a fruit bowl. They should keep for up to 2 weeks.
- Squeezed fresh for juice or use in marinades, dressing and vinaigrettes