The orange

The orange is a fruit originating in Asia, more precisely in the region located between India and Southeast Asia. Its cultivation would have started around 7000 years ago, assuming that the first orange groves developed in the first millennium, in China.

The Romans were probably the first Europeans to come into contact with this fruit, possibly during the first century, through trade with Persian merchants and the Aksum kingdom (present-day Ethiopia).

Considered a luxury product, the orange became popular among the noble class and the military, being the first bitter species and cultivated to be used for medicinal purposes.

The first orchards appear in the West, from the 16th century onwards. I AD and are located in North Africa (from Libya to Morocco) and were usually owned by Roman citizens.

With the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of the Islamic Caliphate, the previously used trade routes are abandoned. Numerous orchards of the Empire, located on the European continent, end up falling into abandonment.

The golden years of the Islamic Caliphate in North Africa and the Peninsular South, around the 11th century, saw the return of the orange to Europe, as seeds brought from Persia allowed the formation of orchards in the Iberian Peninsula.

The so-called Seville orange was a new variety introduced in the region. It contained more pectin and had a thicker rind, much used in the production of liqueurs, jams and perfumes.

The sweet orange, unlike the bitter orange, was only introduced to Europe in the 16th century, by Portuguese merchants, who brought it from India

. Its culture spreads quickly, introducing itself in orchards throughout Southern Europe, from Portugal to Georgia, ending up being called “Portuguese” in several countries, especially in the Balkans.

The orange is what you might call the universal fruit. You will hardly find someone who doesn’t know her. Famous for the amount of vitamin C – typical of all citrus fruits – the orange stands out for its flavor, which can range from slightly acidic to sweet.

It is this flavor that also gives it another feature that is much explored: versatility. The orange can be consumed in natura, in the form of juices, as an ingredient in sweets and even in savory preparations, such as sauces and salads.

orange with feijoada

A well-known and typically Brazilian combination is feijoada accompanied with fruit slices.It is not known very well why orange has become a traditional accompaniment to feijoada. However, there is a nutritional explanation: the amount of vitamin C in the fruit.

When ingested together with a vegetable source rich in iron – in this case, beans – vitamin C favors the absorption of the nutrient. That is, vitamin C increases the absorption of iron present in foods of plant origin.

types of orange

There are hundreds of types of oranges in the world. It can be said that what differentiates them is the flavor and the place of production. Based on this understanding, we can divide the group of oranges into two main subgroups:

Sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis): brings together the fruits appreciated in the preparation of juices and sweets
Sour oranges (Citrus aurantium): fruits whose peel and pulp are used to make sweets, while the flowers are used to extract perfumes
In Brazil, the best known types are: Bahia, Pera, da Terra and Lima. Check out more about each of them below:

Orange Bahia Orange Bahia

With a yellowish skin, the very Brazilian Bahia orange is very easy to peel. Does not have seeds. Widely used in salads and for consumption in natura. In some states, the Bahian orange is also known as navel orange, because of a small ledge at the bottom of the fruit.

pear orange

Pera orange is also a national variety. It is smaller than the others and has a sweet and pleasant taste. Ideal for making juices. It is also called “river pear orange” or “river pear orange”. It has an elongated shape, smooth and thin bark with tones ranging from yellow to reddish.

Earth orange

Representative of the group of sorrels, the orange from Earth is widely used in the manufacture of sweets whose main ingredient is its peel. It has a very acidic taste and a flattened shape.

Orange Lime Orange Lime

Lima has a less marked acidity. It has a thin, light yellow or green skin and a very juicy pulp. It’s great to be eaten in segments. Curiosity: in the state of Minas Gerais, the Lima orange is known as the Serra d’Água orange.


Benefits of orange

Like all citrus fruit, any variety of orange has good amounts of Vitamin C. This vitamin has an antioxidant action and, therefore, helps in the fight against free radicals. Dietary fiber in orangesAnother nutrient worth mentioning in the composition of oranges is dietary fiber.

Responsible for the good health of the digestive system, this type of carbohydrate contributes to greater control of blood glucose and fat absorption by the cells, in addition to promoting an increase in the feeling of satiety.

Nutritional properties of orange

The daily intake of foods that contain vitamin C in their composition ensures an adequate supply of the nutrient. An integral part of a healthy diet, this vitamin has several functions in our body, contributing to the maintenance of health and disease prevention.

Check the composition of these nutrients in one unit of each variety:

Orange Nutrients Table

Analyzing the table, it is possible to perceive a lower content of vitamin C in the lime orange in relation to the other varieties, as well as a higher fiber content in the selected orange in relation to the others. With regard to fiber content, we can highlight the select orange.

It is worth remembering that the fiber is found in the peel and bagasse of the food, so the consumption of oranges in natura makes almost full use of the amount of this nutrient in the food.

Is juice the same thing?

As one of the main preparations based on oranges is juice, there is nothing more natural than wanting to know if the nutritional properties and benefits of the fruit are also present in its liquid form.

First, you have to understand that both ways are healthy and worthwhile. The difference is that the consumption of the whole fruit is still the most appropriate. As juice usually dispenses with the peel, the amount of fiber is much lower for those who choose this form of intake.

At the same time, the energy value is higher since to make a glass of juice, we usually use more than one fruit. But, if you love orange juice, don’t worry. The secret to a balanced diet is weighting.

If we think that the recommendation for fruit consumption per day is around 3 to 5 portions, when consuming a glass of juice made with 3 oranges you have already consumed 03 portions of this food group.

Remember, this example only refers to the issue of food calories. The fiber content is lower, so make sure you have a salad. After knowing all these properties and curiosities, it will be easy to list your favorite orange.

Where did the orange come from?

Origin of the orangeIt is believed that the orange has Asian origin. According to data from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), the first records of its consumption date back to 2500 years before Christ. Roots have been found in China, Assam, India, and Myanmar.

In the same way as its emergence, its trajectory around the world is little known. Studies indicate that, from Asia, the orange was taken to North Africa and, from there, to Southern Europe in the middle of the Middle Ages.

The first time the fruit arrived in the Americas was in 1493, when Christopher Columbus carried the seeds on his journey to “discover” new territory.

Soon several Caribbean islands were planting oranges, whether sweet or sour. The seedlings arrived in Panama with the Spaniards in 1516 and in Mexico two years later.

In sweet or savory salads, in jam, in desserts, in sauce. The orange is available according to all tastes and all desires. Excellent for health, this fruit is the ideal partner to spend a winter in great shape!

Get to know orange better

The different varieties of oranges marketed in France fall into two categories: edible fruits and juice fruits. So “Navel” oranges are characterized by a small growth (navel means umbilicus in English) on their rather thick skin. Their almost completely seedless flesh makes them excellent mouth-watering fruits.

The most widespread of the oranges seems to be the “Washington Navel” Gironde with its fragrant and well-coloured fruit, which is at the origin of the early Naveline and the late Navel Late. “Blonde” oranges (Shamouti, Salustiana, Valencia Late) have neither navel nor seeds. Very rich in juice, they are often eaten in a hurry.

Blood oranges (such as the famous Maltese) offer red colored flesh with a tangy and abundant juice. Although the orange is imported (mainly from Spain, Morocco, South Africa), there is a small French production of this citrus fruit, mainly located in Corsica and in the Pyrenes Orientale.

Tips for choosing

If the oranges must be very firm, the color and the thickness of their epidermis should not influence you. Indeed, the green pigments of the epidermis of the fruit only change color (orange or red) under the action of cold. Cold that some sunny countries do not experience: a citrus fruit can be slightly green and very ripe.

It is best to also choose oranges based on their use as eating fruits or juicing fruits. Although oranges keep very well at room temperature, placing them in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator optimizes their conservation, without risk of dehydration.

Preparation tips

Peeling orange segments raw is easier than you might think: just cut the two ends of the fruit down to the pulp (to give them a stable base) and, using a sharp knife, to peel it raw, giving it the shape of a small, regularly rounded keg.

The orange can then be cut into rings or quarters. In the latter case, it is then easy to remove the small membrane that envelops the quarters: we then obtain Supremes.

A zester knife applied to the fruits (previously washed and cut at both ends), then sliced into thin slices, provides a very attractive decoration for the dish.

Zest is easily obtained. Without this utensil, to extract the zest, peel the fruit with a paring knife and slice the thin strips (devoid of white skin) before blanching them.

Orange, quite a story

It probably originated in Southeast Asia: we find traces of it in China 2200 years before our era, then among the Sumerians and in ancient Egypt. In North Africa, it had been cultivated since the 2nd or 3rd century, well before being introduced into southern Europe by the Arabs around the year 1000.

But it was not until the 16th century that the “sweet” orange, as we eat it now (Citrus sinensis), made its appearance in our regions: the Portuguese brought back plants from their stopovers in Ceylon and to trading posts.

Chinese. It was to be able to produce this fruit of the sun, even in our climates, that specialized shelters were built, the orangeries (the most famous were those of Amboise for King Charles VIII and Versailles for Louis XIV).

And how is the plate?

Oranges can be enjoyed in salads… savory: with pan-fried diced chicken, drizzled with orange juice, cooked until caramelized and deglazed with vinegar, all served with slices of orange and lamb’s lettuce.

Or rather sweet: with slices of peeled oranges, drizzled with their juice, Grand Marnier and paprika or Muscat, minced mint and candied ginger This fruit can also be cooked in a sauce with meats (defatted juice with citrus fruits mixed with a slice of gingerbread).

With fish, orange zest pleasantly acidulates dishes as well as American-style sauces. There are a thousand and one recipes for desserts and jams.. The orange is a great source of inspiration for pastry chefs.

Interesting, orange juice!

Orange juice contains almost all the nutrients of the fruit, including the soluble fraction of pectins (only the insoluble fibers are eliminated). In particular, it provides its sugars, minerals, vitamins… and calories.

Very frankly extracted from the fruit, orange juice is as rich in vitamin C as the orange itself. But the vitamin content drops rapidly, due to the oxidizing action of the air. It’s po

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