Oranges are orange. Except when they are not. Well all oranges are orange on the outside (until the day I discover one that isn;t), but not all are orange are the inside. A beautiful array of colors are out there for are enjoyment. One of the funniest has to be the blood oranges. They can range in color from dark purple to all different shades of red. I have had some that had a rainbow of reds, yellows, and oranges. Blood oranges have a unique taste that is quite different from everyone’s favorite Navel. Unlike the Navel, blood oranges can’t be found in stores 24/365. They have a season in which to enjoy them. Let me tell you all about it.
When Are Blood Oranges in Season?
Generally the blood orange season runs from December to April. The first blood oranges of the season show up before Christmas. The first ones usually don’t appear any different than any other orange. There is no red showing on the outside like you will see later in the season. Flavor is not there either. I wouldn’t spend my money on them until the calendar turns over to a new year.
Varieties of Blood Oranges
Most people may not know that there are actually different varieties of blood oranges. The one that you find almost every time is the Moro blood orange. Moro while being a good orange isn’t my favorite though. The honor would go to the Tarocco blood orange. These are very popular in Italy and for good reason, they have amazing flavor. Look at the picture just above, they are so pretty on the inside. They can be a challenge to find, especially when most stores just sell all blood oranges under the label blood orange. If you can find them, snatch them up. I have seen them at Trader Joe’s in the past, but not lately.
A new variety of blood orange that is actually a cross between a blood orange and a Clementine mandarin is hitting the market place in 2016 for the first time. Make sure to check out my review of the Ruby Tango mandarin.
Favorite Blood Orange Recipes
The unique flavor of the blood oranges and it’s eye appealing color make it a great choice to use in many recipes. Here are some of my favorite
Blood Orange Granita – A refreshing retreat, made of small ice crystals that can be made in the freezer without any special equipment. You got a pan and a fork you can make it.
Blood Orange Sherbet – An orange sherbet recipe inspired by Alton Brown.
Blood Orange/Strawberry Jam – How to make a small batch of strawberry jam using blood oranges to up the flavor ante.
Blood Orange Yogurt
Recently I was vacationing in Wisconsin and I let my daughter picked out any yogurt she wanted. She selected Fage Blood Orange. Glad she did. She loved it. It has a distinct blood orange taste. Look for it wherever you buy Fage yogurt. Regardless whether you can find it or not, you can also buy some plain or vanilla yogurt and squeeze in some blood orange juice for a great taste experience.