Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
mizducky

Blood orange novice

Recommended Posts

I don't know quite how, but somehow I managed to miss the whole blood orange thing. Until last night. First impressions:

1. Wow--the flesh of the ones I bought wasn't merely blood-colored, they were *dried congealed blood* colored. :shock: I'd seen pictures, of course, but the reality of a nearly-black orange interior is pretty startling.

2. Wait--I thought these things were supposed to be super-sweet. :huh: A bit of Googling informed me that while most varieties are really sweet, it seems I must have gotten a type that's more in the grapefruit range of things. No worries, as I love grapefruit. And in fact I wound up loving these blood oranges too--their flavor, while tart, wasn't the same as a grapefruit at all, but a more complex thing, with a fleeting touch of honey in the finish. (On-line descriptions suggest berry overtones in the flavor, but I couldn't pick that up.) Anyway, I wound up eating all three that I had.

So--now that I've dispensed with my blood orange virginity, anyone want to tell me more about this fascinating fruit? Including which varieties are meant to be sweeter and which more on the tart side?

(Duh--forgot to take pictures of the durned things!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just a novice, too, Ellen, so I'll be interested to read what pops up here. I will say that having a blood orange or two around when guests arrive means that you have a great mixer for many drinks that would require orange, lemon, or lime. :wink:


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I'm not an expert, my info comes from discussions with some of the city's top green grocers.

There are two main varieties of blood orange*: Tarocco and Moro. Yours sound like Moros.

Moros are red or even purple fleshed. They come into season earlier than the Tarrocos and their flavour changes as the season progresses: very tart early on and disagreeably musky toward the end. Frankly, I find them something of a crapshoot. They used to be pretty rare birds in these parts. For the last couple of years or so, they've been brought in from the States (not sure where, though Florida is said to be potentially prime blood orange country) bearing Sunkist stickers and have just about pushed the Tarrocos out of grocery chain produce departments. Another instance of appearance trumping flavour, I guess, and another reason to shop at green grocers.

Tarrocos are larger and slightly softer and the peel is often looser. The flesh is typically orange with red streaks, though sometimes there's no red at all. The flavour is far superior to Moro's (Montreal's leading artisanal ice cream maker, Havre aux glaces, uses only them for its fabulous blood orange sherbet). The ones we see here almost always come from Italy, usually Sicily.

____________

*In light of Adam's post, this should probably read "There are two main varieties of blood orange sold in Montreal."


Edited by carswell (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Europe a huge percentage of the Blood orange crop comes from Sicily, but they are also found in Spain also.

Common types are:

Sanguinello - originally from Spain, deep red flesh, good flavour

Sanguigno comune - (Sicily) pale red flesh

Tarocco - (Sicily) the most common type, varible redness, but very sweet.

Moro - a new variety, a very deep coloured flesh. It is grown around San Diego, but also in Sicily. Not so sweet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they are fully ripe they should be sweet! But the season for blood oranges is later than others; i.e. when the regular navels and valencias are at peak ripeness the blood oranges are just coming along. They are mostly used for juicing but I made a really nice blood orange marmelade last week. It didn't come out red but a much darker orange than normal marmelade and has a distinctive flavor.


"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i see everyone's got to it already. but since i just finished writing the orange chapter for my next book, i feel obliged tochip in with a little further explication: the moro is actually a relatively new variety that was developed specifically for color. the other two main varieties, tarocco and sanguinello, have much better flavor but need a pretty consistent chill to develop color. and since most people want a blood orange for the color, moro is now the dominant variety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, folks. This is very helpful.

Moros are red or even purple fleshed. They come into season earlier than the Tarrocos and their flavour changes as the season progresses: very tart early on and disagreeably musky toward the end. Frankly, I find them something of a crapshoot. They used to be pretty rare birds in these parts. For the last couple of years or so, they've been brought in from the States (not sure where, though Florida is said to be potentially prime blood orange country) bearing Sunkist stickers and have just about pushed the Tarrocos out of grocery chain produce departments. Another instance of appearance trumping flavour, I guess, and another reason to shop at green grocers.

As a matter of fact, I did buy these blood oranges at a local chain grocery--a natural foods chain, to be sure, but still a chain (Henry's, which has been bought up by Wild Oats). And they did bear Sunkist stickers. While I did enjoy them, yeah, I guess some of the flavor undertones could easily be described as "musky," and I could well imagine how that might become unpleasant if it became the dominant flavor. So I'll keep my eye out for additional varieties in the other places I shop for produce, and see what I can turn up for a taste comparison.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the blood orange curd variation in Sherry Yard's baking book and used it as a filling for a cake. Turned out quite well, sweet, tart and rich. Color of the juice going into the curd was a deep rosy/ruby red. But, of course, all those egg yolks in the curd turned it a vibrant orange.

I also did an impromptu salad with them by peeling, removing all the pith and slicing crosswise into rounds. Overlapped on salad plate, topped with thinly sliced red onion rings, some chopped stuffed green olives a few pin nuts, a few shavings of parm reggiano and a light drizzle of good extra virgin Spanish olive oil.

(Ellen - you might want to check out Windmill Farms in Del Cerro, about 2 miles east of your new digs. That's where I've been getting my blood oranges and they've been sweet.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the Moros; but, reading the other posts, it might be because we don't get enough chill for the others to do well, here.

This sorbet turned out well, made with some tart early season Moros.

Moro Decay Sorbet

1 c Sugar

1 c Water

1 c Moro Blood Orange Juice

1/8 c Bourbon

Zest of 2 Moro Blood Oranges

1 tsp. Angostura Bitters

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes. Cool.

Zest oranges into bourbon and stir to combine. Add blood orange juice, bitters and cooled syrup. Chill.

Strain mixture through cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

If you have an ice cream maker, process according to manufacturers instructions.

If you do not have an ice cream maker, chill a stainless steel or pyrex pan in your freezer. The sorbet mixture should not come up more than an inch along the side of the pan. Add mixture to pan, and stir with a fork every hour until well frozen. After it freezes, process in batches in a blender or food processor and store in a sealed container in the freezer.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the moro is actually a relatively new variety that was developed specifically for color.

I don't doubt you know what you're talking about, but for what it's worth when I was a very young lad living in Germany in 1959-1960, we got blood oranges that were labeled "moro". I don't remember how red the flesh was, but they were intensely flavorful, explosively really, and on the tart side. "Moro" may have been more a brand than a variety, though...I don't know. That's all I can remember. It was decades before any type of blood orange started showing up in markets in the eastern US. I think it was probably in the mid-nineties that I first found blood oranges in the Washington area, and they were intensely flavored and wonderful, with sort of streaky red in the flesh. More recently, the blood oranges I find are very dark red, comparatively anemic in flavor, and deficient in juiciness. I guess these are the modern "moro" variety.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't doubt you know what you're talking about, but for what it's worth when I was a very young lad living in Germany in 1959-1960, we got blood oranges that were labeled "moro". I don't remember how red the flesh was, but they were intensely flavorful, explosively really, and on the tart side. "Moro" may have been more a brand than a variety, though...I don't know. That's all I can remember. It was decades before any type of blood orange started showing up in markets in the eastern US. I think it was probably in the mid-nineties that I first found blood oranges in the Washington area, and they were intensely flavored and wonderful, with sort of streaky red in the flesh. More recently, the blood oranges I find are very dark red, comparatively anemic in flavor, and deficient in juiciness. I guess these are the modern "moro" variety.

Sicilian blood oranges often come wrapped in tissue paper printed with the brand name and logo. I remember seeing, years ago, Tarocco oranges wrapped in red paper emblazoned with the head-and-shoulders portrait of a person of colour and, I believe, the brand name Moro, which in this instance would translate as Moor or Negro. Chances are your Moro was a brand name, not a variety, especially as the variety is rarely specified on packaging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With both types of bloods grown in the US time of the season is important for taste and as is so often the case the grower can be an important distinction. I've had tart early season Moros and Taroccos and very sweet midseason ones from Rising C Ranch in California. I'm about due to order some.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't doubt you know what you're talking about, but for what it's worth when I was a very young lad living in Germany in 1959-1960, we got blood oranges that were labeled "moro".

could possibly have been a brand name. but also notice my use of the weasel word: relatively. Sanguinello (actually, several related varieties) and Tarocco date from the turn-of-the-century. according to the indispensible "The Citrus Industry, Vol I": "Of comparatively recent Sicilian origin and thought to have developed from teh Sanguinello Moscato variety, Moro did not attain the popularity of Tarocco for several decades. More recently, it has been planted to a considerable extent in Sicily where it now enjoys equal favor."

And I'm curious about the blood orange curd: every time I've tried to do it, the color has turned that bruised purple that anthocyanins do when they're heated. any tricks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Ellen - you might want to check out Windmill Farms in Del Cerro, about 2 miles east of your new digs.  That's where I've been getting my blood oranges and they've been sweet.)

Cool! And I was wondering where the nearest Henry's-type grocery to my new place was hiding ...

Moro Decay Sorbet

1 c Sugar

1 c Water

1 c Moro Blood Orange Juice

1/8 c Bourbon

Zest of 2 Moro Blood Oranges

1 tsp. Angostura Bitters

Terrific recipe name! :laugh: And I'm intrigued by the concept of matching bourbon with the Moro flavor. Which bourbon do you usually put in this recipe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been getting Sunkist-labeled moro type blood oranges. Very sweet, very juicy, deep red flesh. Essentially seedless, almost a blood orange variety of a navel orange.


Can you pee in the ocean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a tree in La Costa that gave me very sweet, streaky red fleshed ones. We used them in fresh juice, mixed with valencias :wub::wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...... and since most people want a blood orange for the color, moro is now the dominant variety.

In this case I imagine there was originally and 'n' in the name?

:laugh:

Yeah, I can't say I like those as much. (Although I will rarely turn down a citrus fruit in general...)

I grew up with the old world varieties. There's a health food store near me that has the old skool kind for about a week out of the year and I tend to eat about ten lbs worth in that one week. :rolleyes: I don't know where they get them, they are only lightly streaked and more deep red than purple.


Edited by Behemoth (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Terrific recipe name! :laugh: And I'm intrigued by the concept of matching bourbon with the Moro flavor. Which bourbon do you usually put in this recipe?

Thanks!

I really like the combination of orange and bourbon and was inspired by the Cocktail Sorbet thread over in Fine Spirits to create this. I used Wild Turkey 101.

I really want to make a "Moro Decay Punch" using a similar combination of flavors for my next party.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the Moros; but, reading the other posts, it might be because we don't get enough chill for the others to do well, here.

This sorbet turned out well, made with some tart early season Moros.

Moro Decay Sorbet

1 c Sugar

1 c Water

1 c Moro Blood Orange Juice

1/8 c Bourbon

Zest of 2 Moro Blood Oranges

1 tsp. Angostura Bitters

I like the Moros as well -- although to be honest I have to admit I've never eaten the fruit, just juiced them for cocktails and sorbets. I can imagine that they're not the greatest for eating plain, but I like the tartness -- it's much better in cocktails than sweeter orange juice.

I recently made a sorbet from Pamela Sheldon Johns's Gelato book using blood orange juice and Campari. It was great, but now I'm thinking about blood orange juice and bourbon or rye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work at a county prison. A couple of years ago the food service got some blood oranges and served a couple of wedges of them on the inmate meal trays. This caused great consternation amongst the inmates as they had never seen these and they thought these were oranges that has either gone bad, or were doused with some sort of chemical to do who knows what. They never served them again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up three Sunkist Moros at Safeway about a week ago........................NOT GOOD!

The musky taste and rather dry texture was very off-putting.

I once had a delicious Blood Orange Marmalade and was hoping to duplicate it. Not with those babies!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a very good arancello using moros last year (with a little lime). They have a bitter quality that you don't find in tarocco.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I work at a county prison.  A couple of years ago the food service got  some blood oranges and served a couple of wedges of them on the inmate meal trays.  This caused great consternation amongst the inmates as they had never seen these and they thought these were oranges that has either gone bad, or were doused with some sort of chemical to do who knows what.  They never served them again

great story. my friend and colleague david karp reported several years ago the case of a woman in the San Fernando Valley whose navel tree "sported" and began producing blood oranges on one limb. She was convinced her neighbor was trying to poison her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...