Blood Oranges, sometimes called Sicilian Oranges or Berry Oranges, are this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week from the Certified Farmers’ Markets. The Blood Orange is a seasonal orange variety that’s just beginning to arrive at Southern California Farmers’ Markets. Unlike other Oranges, Blood Oranges have flesh that is mostly a deep red in color, due to the presence of anthocyanins, a family of antioxidant pigments that are common to many flowers, berries and other fruits, but uncommon in citrus fruits. Blood Oranges are typically smaller than other oranges, with rinds that vary between orange and deep red, depending on the variety. They have a distinctive flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of berries, and can be either sweet or tart, depending on the variety. They are delicious when eaten fresh, but can also be used in salads, desserts, juices, or even as a flavor enhancer for sodas and sorbets.
Price: $2 per pound.
Did you know: Blood Oranges require cool night temperatures in order to develop their characteristic deep red color. In the United States, they are mostly grown in Texas and California, and their season typically runs from December to May. Florida Orange Growers experimented with Blood Oranges but did not find great success with them due to a lack of cool (but not freezing) Fall and Winter nights.