Orange

Start your day with color, flavor and health!

It is no wonder that oranges are among the most popular fruits in the world. Juicy and sweet and renowned for their concentration of vitamin C, oranges make a perfect snack and add a special tang to many recipes. Moreover their juice is largely associated with good health, having a reputation for being an integral part of a healthy breakfast.

orangeOranges are classified into two general categories—sweet and bitter—with the former being the type most commonly consumed. Popular varieties of the sweet orange include Valencia, Navel and Jaffa oranges, as well as the blood orange, a hybrid species that is smaller in size, more aromatic in flavor and has red hues running throughout its flesh. Bitter oranges (Citrus aurantium) are oftentimes used to make jam or marmalade, and their zest serves as the flavoring for liqueurs such as Grand Marnier and Cointreau.

Oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C, just one orange supplies 116.2% of the daily value for vitamin C. Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells. Vitamin C, is also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, Vitamin C is vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and may be helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections.

An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects. Moreover, oranges are a very good source of dietary fiber, B Vitamins including vitamin B1 and folate as well as Vitamin A, calcium and potassium.

Oranges originated thousands of years ago in Asia, in the region from southern China to Indonesia from which they spread to India. Sweet oranges were introduced into Europe around the 15th century by various groups including the Moors, and the Portuguese as well as the Italian traders and explorers who found them on their voyages to Asia and the Middle East.

Oranges are generally available from winter through summer with seasonal variations depending on the variety. The mild climate of Greece is ideal for growing them and they are cultivated in large scale in Arta, Argos, Laconia, Attica, Evia, Volos and the Aegean islands. The oranges of Maleme Chania Crete are of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

Oranges can be eaten as a snack, just peel and enjoy or squeeze them to get a flavorful and healthy juice. In Greece, we also use the skin to make a delicious spoon sweet, a real treat to accompany you Greek coffee in the morning.

MLGFB Tip:

How to store oranges

  • Oranges can either be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, depending upon your preference.
  • They will generally last the same amount of time, two weeks with either method, and will retain nearly the same level of their vitamin content.
  • The best way to store oranges is loose rather than wrapped in a plastic bag since if exposed to moisture, they can easily develop mold.
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