Bloody Delicious – Get it?

by Matt on December 28, 2006

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At least I didn’t say "orange you glad….?"

Blood oranges are my winter equivalent of summer’s heirloom tomatoes.
They’re at their best just once a year, which means I always feel the
need to cram as many as possible into my mouth and the mouths of
others. Sometimes I wish I felt the same way about navels and
valencias, but alas, I do not. Is it a color bias? Gosh I hope not.

Blood oranges get their color from something called Anthocyanin, a
pigment that’s usually found in flowers and other fruits and
vegetables. It’s what gives petals that deep red, blue or purple color,
and for some reason Mother Nature decided to include it in this citrus
variety. Thank you, girl!

There are three types of blood oranges: Tarocco, Sanguinello and Moro.
The moro is grown here in California and is said to be the sweetest of
the three varieties. For me the most exciting part, aside from their
flavor, is the first time you cut into the orange. Deep crimson
droplets leak out, giving way to dark flesh that can take you by
suprise if you’re not expecting it. The colors of blood oranges can
vary from crop to crop, and even inside an individual fruit you may get
a beautiful uniform hue or speckles of red, purple and orange.

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But the best part is the flavor. Less acidic and "fruitier" than
regular oranges, they’re pleasantly sweet with notes of raspberries and
blueberries. To me they taste like fruit punch, which is why I love the
juice in cocktails and mixed drinks (geez Matt, must it always be about
the booze?)
Of course you can use blood oranges the same way you’d use
standard oranges, but that beautiful gorgeous color will affect
whatever you are preparing.

Not like that’s a bad thing :)