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arancia rossa

blood orange

An essential part of the Sicilian mystique, this wonderfully tart, juicy, deep red fruit has been grown in the Mediterranean since the 18th century but most tastily in the volcanic soils of Sicily. A juicy orange with a hint of raspberry, is now the most popular orange in Italy. The red pigment is an antioxidant.

Arancia rossa di Sicilia have PDO status and come in three varieties:

moro: the most colourful, with a strong fragrance and crimson fruit so dark it can verge on black. Grown in eastern Sicily and developed from the sanguinello it's usually eaten fresh, or in a sorbet.

sanguinello: a late orange, first discovered in Spain, and also grown in Sicily.

tarocco: the most popular table orange in Italy. It's not as red as the others but it's seedless, easy to peel, sweet and a bomb of vitamin C (it has more than any other orange).

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Corey Harmon