Blood orange: an incredibly versatile fruit
The blood orange is known as “orange sanguine” in France, "arancia rossa" in Italy, and "naranja roja" or "sanguina" in Spain (which gives its name to sangria, a mix of orange and wine). Its blood-red color highlights are due to the presence of anthocyanin, the same natural coloring agent as blueberries. It’s a powerful antioxidant which, when associated with the vitamin C and the numerous mineral salts in bloody oranges, makes it a highly appreciated fruit for its dietary virtues. Originally from China, where it has been cultivated for millennia, like so many other citrus fruits, it was brought to Europe by Portuguese and Arab traders in the 15th Century. The first-known varieties were bitter in taste and were above all used in cooking, in particular to give a zest to game birds or wild fowl, such as pigeons, partridges, pheasants, ducks, etc. The sweet orange, which was exported to the West later, is today the most consumed winter fruit in the world. The bloody orange exists in many varieties, each of which has a specific balance between its acidity (or bitterness) and its sweetness, as well as having various shades of orange and red in its flesh and skin. This is why it is highly sought after for its dietary virtues, its wide palette of tastes and colors and its versatility as a fruit and condiment from the beginning to the end of any meal.