Wednesday, April 20, 2016

O is for orange



This blog post is about the orange. Not orange jumpsuits. Not orange people running for president. It's about the delicious orange, packed full of vitamin C. Oranges come in many varieties. The orange is a hybrid, a cross between a pomelo and a mandarin. This hybridization occurred over several generations. There are some questions about where oranges first grew. They could have come from China, India, or somewhere in southeastern Asia. We do know that the orange was not indigenous to the western hemisphere. Christopher Columbus brought orange seeds to the New World in 1493, when he visited for the second time. Florida turned out to be an ideal place for the orange trees. The soil in Florida is sandy, and the climate is subtropical. 
By the nineteeth century, oranges were growing wild in Florida. Now, of course, Florida is the main source of oranges. More than seventy percent of all oranges come from Florida. 

Oranges are delicious and nutritious. They provide loads of vitamin C. They can be eaten or turned into delicious juice. You could squeeze both oranges and grapefruits for an even more delicious juice. When I was a kid, my family used to drink freshly squeezed orange juice every morning. Sometimes, we had the orange-grapefruit combination, which we called "orangra."

We had a large Maine Coon cat that we called Boy that also appreciated orange juice. Like most cats, he was not attracted to citrus fruit. But he was a very scientifically minded cat. He had made up his mind that he was going to test the law of gravity. It was my older sisters' job to prevent the cat from testing the law of gravity. They were to guard the orange juice and make sure that the cat did not do his experiment. When my sisters didn't stand and guard the juice, the cat made his move. He jumped on the table and tipped over the small glasses, one at a time, watching as the juice spilled out of the glasses and dripped onto the floor. If he had been human, he would have started laughing. But he just stood there quietly and watched. He was not a meow-er.
I've never met a cat that was quite like Boy. I think of him when I make a little orange juice.

So... more about oranges. Not all oranges are orange. And not all oranges are sweet. There are also bitter oranges. Some oranges are bright red. They're called blood oranges. There are a number of varieties of oranges, including Valencia, navel orange, cara cara, and more. These are all sweet oranges. The bitter orange varieties are Bergamot and Seville oranges. Seville oranges are used to make marmalade, and Bergamot oranges are used to flavor Captain Jean-Luc Picard's favorite type of tea: "Earl Grey, hot."

In addition to oranges, closely related fruits include tangerines and tangelos.





2 comments:

Anna Jeanine said...

LOL about orange people running for president!

Wow, I hardly knew any of those things about the orange. But now I think I understand why I don't like blood orange tea, but do like Earl Grey.

As always, your pictures are wonderful! And I love the interesting things I'm learning as a result of your alphabet posts.

Jeanine
http://www.storybookhealingprocess.com

Martha DeMeo said...

I love oranges. I cut them in slices and add to my infuser water bottle and it gives Just a hint of flavor.