Monday, January 26, 2009

It's Blood Orange Season!

I became addicted to Blood Oranges last February when I visited my sister in Italy. I drank as much blood orange juice as is humanly possible while I was there, and when I returned, discovered that Park’s, my local fruit & vegetable stand near where I used to live in the City, carried them. I think I ate at least one every day until they went out of season.

Now they’re back! I bought some at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market on Saturday. I went a little overboard as they really weren’t quite ripe yet, but I couldn’t resist. I miss the ones at Park’s though. The ones at the farmers market aren’t as darkly pigmented. I may see if Berkeley Bowl of Whole Foods carries them. I’ve never seen them at Safeway or Andronico’s.

The pigment, in addition to being what makes them cool-looking, is what makes blood oranges so good for you. It’s anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant. Some varieties are darker than others, but I heard somewhere (and a quick google search has revealed no source to back this up) that the coloring is somehow the fruit’s defense mechanism against the cold. As a result, you need cold weather to make them dark. Unfortunately most of this country’s citrus growing infrastructure is, by necessity, in areas that aren’t very cold, resulting in rather pale blood oranges. I’m not sure where in California Sunksit grows there’s, but they do a great job of darkening them up.

I wonder if it’s cold enough in Berkeley to grow one. Hmm… Yum.


  1. First of all, I am very jealous. I cannot get blood oranges here in IA at all.

    Now, I have to way to back this up, but I seem to remember the oranges got darker and more red as we moved later into the season. I could be wrong though.

  2. LOVE Blood Oranges. They make a fantastic cocktail punch as well, if you are planning a small party anytime soon.


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