Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Mystery of Blood Oranges Revealed

We have been feasting daily on beautiful blood oranges from our local farmer’s market for weeks now, but our vendor has just ended his season. What to do? We love them so much that I bought a tree to add to our suburban mini-orchard.

The amazing raspberry-ruby grapefruit flavor of blood oranges is a special treat, but you have to take advantage of their short seasonal availability. That may change soon. Just as I brought home my small Moro blood orange tree, I found out that researchers have identified the gene responsible for the color and health benefits, and they are trying to develop a new, more widely accessible variety.

I'm feeling particularly fortunate to live in the SF Bay Area where our climate meets the unique requirements of the blood orange. It turns out to have a need for exposure to cold temperatures (chill hours) in order to develop its beautiful color, which contains all of the health benefits associated with anthocyanins.

Read my full post at Eat Drink Better 

Our young Moro blood orange tree

Photos: Urban Atrichoke

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