Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blood Orange

I've never had a Blood Orange before. I've seen them on the Food Network, and one of the food blogs recently had a sort of freform tart made of layered Blood Orange slices that supposedly cook up like dark marmalade.

According to Wikipedia, Blood Oranges are sometimes labled as a cross between a pomelo and a tangerine, but are generally accepted as a straight-forward mutation of a sweet orange, which allows it to be loaded with anthocyanins, "common in flowers but not in citrus". Anthocyanins are apparently a kind of flavinoid that is either red, purple or blue depending on ph (so, if someone managed to breed one that had very low acidity, could we get purple or blue oranges? That'd be so sweet, both literally and figuratively).

The skin was thick like an orange, but as easy to peel as a tangerine, with that same brittle zipperyness that tangerines and clemetines have. And this one, at least, is loaded with orange oil, soaking my hands enough that it dripped off my fingers, and squirting little sprays of it into the air around my desk.

The taste is very orangey, strong and a sharp mix of sour and sweet, and a little... berryish? Like the juice is mixed with cranberries or mixed berries. It's Lovely. And I can't get over how gorgeous it is. This is definitely a dietary keeper.

I'm sad there's no seeds in them, though. That means I'll have to find one already growing, and I'm sure that'll be a pain, what with no citrus imports to Florida, and the one grown and sold here being so expensive...

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