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Blood orange novice


mizducky
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I feel compelled to put a word in for poor maligned Moros. (And not only because I have a baby Moro tree in my garden, neither!) I have been buying them from Southern California farmer's market vendors, esp. North San Diego County growers, since the mid-1980s, and they have been unfailingly delicious--superior, even. Perfumily fragrant, juicy, gorgeously colored, virtually seedless, rich oily peel yielding rich oily zest--what's not to like?

Course there is no accounting for dry old yucky supermarket citrus, no matter its variety.

Priscilla

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I stumbled upon this thread from a link on the 'Dinner' thread, and since I just bought some blood oranges a few days ago, thought I might make my first attempt at food photography.

These are some Sunkist-branded Moro oranges:

gallery_37398_2567_14344.jpg

gallery_37398_2567_49600.jpg

The flesh is beet-red, the juice a deep magenta. These are very sweet and juicy, with just a hint of sour/tart flavor.

Though I've bought them infrequently for a few years, I too am a novice - until recently I was unaware of the different varieties. This article in the NY Times Magazine gives a brief but tantalizing taste of Sicilian blood-orange cuisine with some recipes I intend to try (and will try to post results :)

Those pictured above are destined for a simple salad of orange segments, sprinkled with coarse salt and red pepper flakes, and drizzled with EVOO.

Anyone know of a source for the Tarocco variety?

mark

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Today I made a Sicilian orange salad

The Moro name.. comes from the MOORS and is an often used symbol in Italy.

In Sicily and Sardegna and I have also seen a statue of the 4 moors in livorno which is a port town.

The first time about 25 years ago in Paris when I was served a fresh orange juice, it was made from the juice of the dark Sanguinelle. The glass was not full and served with a small pitcher of water and sugar!

they can be very tart, which is how my Italian husbnad likes them or sweet.

The stores in Florence are selling both Sicilian..and Spanish

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I love blood oranges. Last night I made the best salad with thinly sliced fennel, thinly sliced red onion, minneola and blood oranges cut into segments, black oil- cured olives, and feta. I drizzled it with olive oil and topped with lots of pepper. Beautiful and delicious.

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Ok, maybe I need to try them again but: the two times I've tried them they seemed moldy and rotten. I don't know if they were old? This was last year and people in CT are slow to pick up on new things so they may have been sitting there a while. How do you know if it's good? Also- Blood Orange? Not a good name, Red Orange would be a lot better in my opinion.

Melissa

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have finally found some nicer blood oranges. I suppose I would have found them faster if I had gone someplace like Whole Paycheck, but my inner skinflint is sort of allergic to them.

But I found some very small, very dark (inside and out), and quite sweet and juicy Moros at the Vine Ripe Market (Kalypso, if you're reading this, thank you for turning me on to that place). Interesting to taste that musky component of the flavor palette reined all the way in--just a very faint hint of it all the way at the bottom, and a very slightly medicinal note in the aftertaste. I could also taste a little of that berry-like aspect--I'm assuming now that the strength of that flavor varies as well? Anyway, I'm fascinated.

(Edited to fix "tyop")

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Add me to the list of blood orange novices. Now I'm fascinated, and I'd like to try some. If I go looking for them in the store (no access to groves out here in Minnesota, no friends who grow them in California) can someone tell me more succinctly what to look and smell for? There's a tired smell to most oranges, tangerines, and other orange-colored citrus (except kumquats) that makes me shy away from them in stores. I *know* they aren't right and will taste old. Do blood oranges get that same smell? If they don't have that smell will they be good? What's the sniff test?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Add me to the list of blood orange novices.  Now I'm fascinated, and I'd like to try some.  If I go looking for them in the store (no access to groves out here in Minnesota, no friends who grow them in California) can someone tell me more succinctly what to look and smell for?  There's a tired smell to most oranges, tangerines, and other orange-colored citrus (except kumquats) that makes me shy away from them in stores.  I *know* they aren't right and will taste old.  Do blood oranges get that same smell?  If they don't have that smell will they be good?  What's the sniff test?

I must say I haven't noticed any specific smell, one way or the other. That may just be me being unobservant, though--with fruit, I only seem to key in to fragrance if it's doing something really obvious (haven't smelled durian yet, but I bet I wouldn't fail to notice that one... :laugh: )

At least with the Moros I've gotten my hands on so far, they can be recognized by skin color. The skins have characteristic pinkish streaks and blushes, not unlike that on many red grapefruit, only more redder and more pronounced, to the point that some fruits' skins are almost all-over splotchy fuschia-to-magenta.

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interesting question about the smell. two thoughts: there is a smell to old citrus, but it's more of a fermented kind of odor than "tired". on the other hand, oranges should not have the same amount of "brightness" as lemons and limes; they are far lower in acid and much sweeter.

the best tests for buying citrus are whether the skin is taut and firm and whether the fruit feels heavy for its size.

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interesting question about the smell. two thoughts: there is a smell to old citrus, but it's more of a fermented kind of odor than "tired". on the other hand, oranges should not have the same amount of "brightness" as lemons and limes; they are far lower in acid and much sweeter.

the best tests for buying citrus are whether the skin is taut and firm and whether the fruit feels heavy for its size.

Up to a point I agree with you about the test (firm and taut skin, and heavy for its size). However, I think you're missing the smell I'm talking about. The fermented smell is something that any old citrus (including lemons, for instance) will get, and it's different than the tired smell I'm talking about. (It's also different than the smell of citrus mold, but I think we can safely exclude that smell from the discussion.)

Try this, if you can: pick a ripe navel orange, mandarin orange or tangelo from a tree. Get it as ripe and freshly picked as possible - within the past few days to avoid the potential for the fermented or moldy smell. (Fruit from a fruit stand will do too, if they'll sell you stuff that hasn't gone through the packing plant.) Now, go to the grocery store and buy the equivalent piece of fruit. Smell them, side by side. Do you smell the difference? Now taste them, side by side. See what I mean? Odds are you will. I have had some oranges from a grocery store that did not have that off-flavor and smell (what I call "tired"), but it's very rare. I used to think it came from the packing plant. However, I've noticed it in organic oranges (and tangelos, etc.) and I also taste it in Egyptian oranges and mandarins when I'm over there. I do not detect it in lemons or limes. I wish I knew what causes it, and more importantly, how to stop it from happening. It's an affront to a fine piece of fruit that prevents many people from knowing how good the fruit can be. It might be a simple matter of the sugars breaking down with age, but I'm not so sure: what's left of the fruit I picked last Christmas is softening but still only beginning to hint at that tired smell, whereas the much "fresher" and firmer stuff from the grocery store already has it. You really should get your friends at UC Riverside working on this.

Getting off my soapbox and back to the topic, I want to know whether blood oranges are susceptible to the same degradation of quality from some aspect of commercial handling that oranges are, or if they're more immune to the problem as lemons are. The answer may determine how hard I look for the fruit in our stores.

Edited for slight improvement in clarity (I hope).

Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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  • 3 weeks later...

Blood Orange, Champagne Mango, Red Banana Salsa

Great on fish tacos-

Peel, section, chop all above...

Add chopped scallion, garlic, red onion, cilantro.

Salt.

Looks cool, tastes great!

Blood oranges are fun!

Also good with endive, fennel, tomato, olive salad (bit of parmesan...).

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