28 May2006

val1

Growing up in Manila meant breakfast juices were, shall we say, of limited quality and availability… I recall advertisements for Sunkist tetra-pak juices (remember those pyramidical thingees) boasting they were made from the juice of Valencia oranges (which of course had probably been dehydrated and rehydrated in between). Alternatively, we used to just scoop two tablespoons of TANG into a glass and add cold water…yikes. Mind you, I loved Sunkist and Tang, probably since I didn’t know any better… At any rate, when you get a whiff of the “real thing,” a lightning bolt flashes through your brain to permanently erase any pretenders to the original. In Barcelona, I came across a mountain of Valencia oranges grown in Valencia in netted bags that were on sale for about 3 Euro for 15 oranges and I bought some and lugged them back to the apartment…

I was a bit skeptical about the oranges as I had always assumed that orange season was just prior to the Christmas holidays and that by the time winter val3hit you would be drinking oranges that were picked a few weeks prior. However, it seems that orange season in Spain differs slightly and they tend to bear fruit into the Spring so these held some promise, I thought. I was delighted when on a tour of a Monastery in the outskirts of Barcelona, the courtyard garden had half a dozen orange trees and they had MATURE oranges right on the tree! Stunning. Better yet, the tree also had hundreds of orange blossoms! I noticed elsewhere that lemon trees were also bearing gigantic fruit at this time…

Orange blossoms are spectacular for one reason…they smell incredibly good! They kind of look like large white sampaguita but their fragrance is unmistakably orange-like. val2These trees were so sweet smelling I found myself in the middle of several dozen bees or wasps collecting nectar from the flowers! I carefully took some photos and moved away to avoid getting stung. Look closely at this photo and you can see one of the fat wasps or bees that were collecting nectar!This whole experience makes me want to buy some orange blossom honey and see if the flavor really sticks out… My dream home courtyard would also definitely have several types of citrus trees in bloom all year round…

We threw the Valencia oranges into the fridge and the next val4morning hand squeezed two oranges into a small glass and had the best tasting fresh orange juice I have had in a long, long time. This was sweet, not too dense, hardly any pulp and incredibly flavorful. The oranges were so juicy that you only needed two oranges for a small glass. My daughter took to making her own juice every morning and we really enjoyed these oranges from Valencia…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Maricel says:

    The lengths Marketman will go through to make us vicariously experience what he blogs about. Imagine going through the risk of being stung by bees just to give us beautiful pictures. Thanks once again!

    May 28, 2006 | 5:28 pm

     
  2. Apicio says:

    It’s instantly understandable why you would be enthralled by Neroli, one of the most captivating and widely used scents in perfumery and so evocative of long hot summers and bigarade, the fragrance of the fruit itself. They can be worn on one’s person you know. When you find yourself in Europe again seek out and sample Bigarade by Jean Claude Elena or New York by Patricia de Nicolaï or just trawl the web if you can wait only for a few days.

    May 28, 2006 | 7:05 pm

     
  3. fried-neurons says:

    Funny how you mention Sunkist and Tang when talking about fresh-squeezed OJ. My mom and I have had a few conversations revolving around this subject as well, and how completely different real OJ tastes when compared to the “pretend OJ” like Tang and Sunkist. LOL.

    Valencia oranges are the best. Way better than navel oranges.

    May 28, 2006 | 11:32 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Maricel, I was hoping the nectar was more attractive than I am…heehee. Apicio, you are right, I am unconsciously an admirer as my colognes since way back when must be heavily influenced by citrus notes… fried neurons, ever eat a spoonfull of Tang concentrate and chase it down with a glass of water?

    May 29, 2006 | 4:59 pm

     
  5. mia says:

    MM, about the Tang concentrate and chasing it down with water…I don’t enjoy Tang as a drink. It’s great putting a few spoonfuls in a glass then wetting it a bit so it gets mushy and thick. Mmmm. Sweet and sour and yummy.

    May 29, 2006 | 11:51 pm

     
  6. mojitodrinker says:

    the oranges look great! i’ve been a fresh honey addict as of late. you’ve piqued my interest… any idea where can one buy orange blossom honey?

    May 31, 2006 | 12:10 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Many months ago Bacchus at Shangrila Makati had a line of all organic Italian honeys that were really interesting. Not sure if they still have them. Also, the good groceries or Terry’s sometimes carry honey from orange blossoms. I did a post on a Bohol Bee farm and their acacia and molave honeys a few months ago…those were good too!

    May 31, 2006 | 12:21 pm

     
  8. Manila streetwalker says:

    MM,

    While in Spain, I saw oranges everywhere…and I mean everywhere! With nobody minding them, I was so tempted to pluck them out of the tree and try it out for myself…

    They reminded me of our coconut trees when you go to the provinces..

    May 31, 2006 | 8:16 pm

     
  9. mgr says:

    Most of the orange trees in the streets of Spain are the bitter type used to make marmalades. The British actually harvest them along the streets for their own consumption (marmalades). Did you notice though how Spain doesn’t sell instant OJ? Even at the truck stops, the OJ is freshly squeezed..from the machine that looks like a lottery tambiolo but carries oranges instead of the pingpong balls with numbers.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 3:15 pm

     
  10. mgr says:

    To add..the Moors introduced the fragrant oranges in the courtyards as they “pee” amongst the trees in the olden days to mask the smell.

    Jun 2, 2006 | 3:18 pm

     
  11. Alden Reznicek says:

    Hi Sir/Ma’am
    You know some site or friends who sale some honey bee.I know they not recomend in your site for sale honey bee but I try to write maybe you know somebody have honey bee for sale.
    Please let me know.I hope to hear from you soon
    Thank you Alden

    Jun 16, 2008 | 9:32 am

     
  12. ...... says:

    wat is the english term for sagada oranges???

    Jul 21, 2008 | 4:57 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    I think most sagada oranges are navel oranges.

    Jul 21, 2008 | 7:18 am

     
 

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