Have you ever asked yourself what are the differences between all the oranges out there? Maybe even questioned, which one should I buy? I am here to give you some answers!
There are basically two groups that oranges can get put in to: sweet and bitter. We mostly eat oranges from the sweet group. You may have heard some of them:
- Valencia: the most common. They are juicy and aromatic. Their peel is rather thin.
- Navel: also common an example would be Cara Cara. They are large and seedless. Their skin can be rather easy to peel.
- Blood orange (or Moro): is a natural mutation and they also have a high antioxidant content. They have a sweet flavour and can be cooked. And like the Navel, their skin is easy to peel.
- Temple/ Less Acid Variety: because they are less acidic, they are not good for juicing. They can be sweet and juicy, with not many seeds.
The Mandarin oranges are also included in the sweet group and of these you will also recognize tangerine, satsuma and clementine varieties. They tend to be smaller and sweeter than the above oranges. The tiniest of them all is a Kumquat. What’s fun about these guys is that you can eat the peel too!
The bitter orange group contains three varieties; Seville (known for making marmalade), Bergamot (good for its peel in Italy as well as flavouring Earl Grey Tea) and Trifoliate Orange (also known for making marmalade).
Oranges are most known for the amount of vitamin C that they carry, but they also have a good amount of fibre, antioxidants such as phytochemicals, vitamin A, some B vitamins and even minerals like calcium and potassium!
Orange season runs from October through to the end of February. When buying oranges, choose ones with a good, vibrant colour. That seem heavy to hold, give off a sweet smell and when squeezed slightly the flesh will bounce back. It is best not to store them in the fridge right away, but kept on the counter for about 1-2 weeks, then they should be put in the fridge. There, they can be stored for maybe 1-2 more weeks. Avoid too much moisture as mold could form and start to rot the oranges.
Before eating (or peeling) the orange, consider washing under cold water to help remove some of the pesticides that the farms had to use. If you don’t wash first, when you cut or break the peel, some of the pesticides can break through and contaminate the flesh.
My favourite oranges are the blood oranges and the best way to eat it? Plain and simple, wash, peel and eat!
What’s your favourite orange?
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.