A common citrus fruit with the same name as its color. There are three basic types: sweet, loose-skinned and bitter.
Blood oranges have a very distinctive red flesh that is a little sweeter tasting than a regular orange. Blood oranges are available for a short time each year around Thanksgiving/November.
Zest is the colored portion of the rind of the orange, lemon, or other citrus fruits. It is NOT the underlying white, pith portion of the peel. Usually removed from the fruit by use of a grater or specially designed zester. To zest, is to remove this part of the fruit.
Season: available year-round
How to select: The most important thing to look for is one heavy for its size. Florida oranges will not be as brightly colored as California, but the quality is equal. Oranges are picked fully ripe, so ignore the color of the rind when selecting. Avoid large bruises, soft spots or shriveling, otherwise superficial marks or brownish patches usually indicate an especially juicy and tasty fruit. Sweet
How to store: Store all citrus fruits at room temperature and they should keep for 2 weeks. For longer periods, refridgerate in perforated plastic bags.
How to prepare: Most citrus fruits are covered in wax, so if you want zest you should purchase organic. If you are juicing, both heat and pressure will help release the juice, so roll the orange on a hard surface, dip in hot water and/or microwave for 30 seconds to extract the most liquid. The white pith will turn the flavor of your dish bitter, but contains the most pectin (fiber), so we encourage you to use as much as you can bear to eat. Oranges are best raw, but mix well with spinach, onions, garlic, tomatoes and beef.
Matches well with: Armagnac, basil, brandy, cardamom, chipotle peppers, chocolate, cinnamon, coconut, Cointreau, ginger, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, mangoes, olives, pecans, sherry, strawberries, vanilla
Substitutions: 1/2 cup juice + 2 tbsp grated rind = 1 med orange; 1 1/2 tsp orange extract = 1 tbsp dried orange peel