Orange is a citrus fruit and is considered a berry. The rind or skin of orange is thick and inside flesh is divided among various sections. Oranges are bright in color and cultivated and grown widely in hot climate. Its taste varies from sweet to sharp tangy flavors. In some languages, orange is known as ‘Chinese Apple’. Orange juice, orange jam and orange flavored tea are some of the popular orange dishes that are well-liked in international cuisine.
History and Origin of Orange
According to historians, orange is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. The name of the fruit is originally derived form ‘Sanskrit language’. Persian orange was introduced in Italy in 11th century.
Culinary Uses of Orange
Orange, as a popular fruit, is widely used in culinary world. Its sweet and sour taste gives nice flavor to any dish it is added. Usually, the thick skin of orange is peeled-off and discarded but sometimes it is grated to obtain orange zest. In many sweet and savory orange dishes, orange zest is used as it contains strong flavor of orange. Orange flesh is added to fruit salads and desserts. Orange flesh is squeezed to produce orange juice; this is one of the most popular orange recipes worldwide. The by-product obtained while taking out its juice is ‘sweet orange oil’. This oil is widely used as a flavoring agent in various foods and drinks. Orange blossom is the flower of orange tree and its leaves are a part of French and Middle Eastern cuisines to flavor several baked and dessert items. Like orange juice, orange marmalade is also one of the most common orange recipes. It is used as a spread on breads and pancakes. Tea is also made while using orange leaves.
Cuisines Commonly Making Orange Dishes
Brazilian cuisine is famous for extensively making orange juice and is followed by the American cuisine Various baked and sweet dishes are made in French and Middle Eastern cuisine while using orange leaves. Fruit salads and orange ice cream are popular in European as well as Asian cuisine.
Popular Orange Dishes
Citrus crocked ham is a dish made with orange juice and orange slices. As the name suggests, orange gives a citrus flavor to the precooked ham. Spicy Orange beef is another dish made with orange peel. Green punch and green tea berry smoothie are the popular drinks made with orange juice along with other ingredients. These drinks are refreshing as well as healthy.
Preferred Methods of Utilizing Orange
Orange is a very nice flavoring agent and most of the orange recipes are quiet easy to make. Here is the list of methods used to make orange dishes:
• Pureeing – Orange flesh is pureed to make orange sauce and to add in various baked and dessert dishes.
• Extracting – Orange juice is extracted by squeezing the orange pulp. Juice is used in making various orange dishes.
• Slicing – Orange slices are widely used in fruit salads and various meat and vegetable dishes to add citrus flavor.
Nutritive Value of Orange
Orange is a healthy dose of vitamin C. the nutritional benefits of orange lies in the membranes between its segments. These membranes contain a substance called pectin, which is a dietary fiber that helps in lowering the blood cholesterol levels. Orange also contains antioxidant properties which are included in membranes only. So, it is recommended to have the entire fruit instead of having only the juice. Consumption Criteria of Orange It is observed that many people are allergic to citrus fruits. So, orange and orange dishes should be avoided by them in order to prevent rashes. In some individuals, citrus fruits have also been seen as a cause behind migraines.
Buying and Storing of Oranges
• Heavy weight and firm oranges should be purchased.
• Oranges should be mold free and no spongy spots should be there.
• Storage of oranges can be done in a cool temperature and in refrigerator it can be stored for up to 2 weeks.
Types of Oranges
Different types of oranges are as follows:
• Hamlin oranges – Oval-shapes with dark yellow color and smooth peel. Ideal orange for extracting juice.
• Valencia orange – The late season variety of orange originated in China.
• California Navel orange – It has faded orange color with less sweet taste. Navel orange is best suited to eat fresh.
• Blood orange – it has a color of red skin inside
• Cleopatra orange – It is a tiny orange having many seeds. Cleopatra orange is native to India and it is very easy to peel.
• In Florida, orange juice is considered the official beverage.
• Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice followed by Florida and Mexico.