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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Know your Fruits - Orange

An Orange is a type of citrus fruit. Oranges originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange.
An orange seed is called a pip. The white thread-like material attached to the inside of the peel is called pith.
Oranges are widely grown in warm climates worldwide, and the flavours of oranges vary from sweet to sour.


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There are various varieties of oranges like Persian orange, Navel orange, Valencia orange and Blood orange.

  • Persian orange: The Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe.
  • Navel orange: Navel orange, also known as the Washington, Riverside, or Bahie navel generated after single mutation of sweet oranges, where a second orange is developed at the base of the original fruit, opposite the stem. The second orange develops as a conjoined twin in a set of smaller segments embedded within the peel of the larger orange.
  • Valencia orange: The Valencia / Murcia orange is one of the sweet oranges used for juice extraction. It is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular variety when the navel oranges are out of season.
  • Blood orange: The blood orange has streaks of red in the fruit, and the juice is often a dark burgundy colour. The scarlet navel is a variety with the same diploid mutation as the navel orange.




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Common usage of oranges:

  • The fruit is commonly peeled and eaten fresh, or squeezed for its juice.
  • It has a thick bitter rind that is usually discarded, but can be processed into animal feed by removing water, using pressure and heat.
  • It is also used in certain recipes as flavouring or a garnish.
  • The outer-most layer of the rind can be grated or thinly veneered with a tool called a zester, to produce orange zest. Zest is popular in cooking because it contains the oil glands and has a strong flavour similar to the fleshy inner part of the orange.
  • The white part of the rind, called the pericarp or albedo and including the pith, is a source of pectin and has nearly the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh.
Products made from oranges include:
  • Orange juice; Frozen orange juice concentrate is made from freshly squeezed and filtered orange juice.
  • Sweet orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry produced by pressing the peel. It is used as a flavouring of food and drink and for its fragrance in perfume and aromatherapy.
  • Sweet orange oil is efficient cleaning agent, used in various household chemicals, such as to condition wooden furniture, and along with other citrus oils in grease removal and as a hand-cleansing agent.
  • The orange blossom, is traditionally associated with good fortune, and was popular in bridal bouquets and head wreaths for weddings for some time.
  • The petals of orange blossom can also be made into a delicately citrus-scented version of rosewater.
  • Orange blossom water (aka orange flower water) is a common part of both French and Middle Eastern cuisines, used most often as an ingredient in desserts.
  • In Spain, fallen blossoms are dried and then used to make tea.
  • In the United States, orange flower water is used to make orange blossom scones.
  • Orange blossom honey, or actually citrus honey, is produced by putting beehives in the citrus groves during bloom, which also pollinates seeded citrus varieties. Orange blossom honey is highly prized, and tastes much like orange.
  • Marmalade, usually made with Seville oranges, pith & pips are separated, placed in a muslin bag and boiled in the juice (and sliced peel) to extract pectin for setting marmalade.
  • Orange peel is used by gardeners as a slug repellent.
  • Orange leaves can be boiled to make tea.

info src: wikipedia

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