28 May2007

Sicilian Blood Oranges

by Marketman


Blood red oranges. Stunning and delicious. Native to Sicily and parts of Spain, a quirk of nature resulted in a strain of oranges containing anthocyanin, that provides the red pigment to the pulp and skin of these oranges. There are three varieties of blood oranges – Moro, Sanguinello and Tarocco. The first two varieties are native to Italy and Spain, however the oranges are now being grown in California, Australia and other places. But the best ones, in my opinion, must still hail from their natural “home”…specifically Moros grown on the island of Sicily in Italy. It’s kind of amusing that the same island infamous for the Mafia would also have bloody oranges…


At any rate, these oranges are supposed to be slightly less acidic and while it is really rather difficult to tell the juices apart if you were blindfolded, I really like the idea of them because of the color and well, they taste pretty good as well. The red juice is also used in a Sauce Maltaise, a mixture of mayonnaise and red blood orange juice as some of these oranges also thrive in Malta… They work great in salads as well because of their brilliant color contrast with lettuce greens. Oddly, some of the oranges have very little redness to them while others are really deep deep red. You can’t tell from the skins if the orange inside is going to be really red… it’s a “chamba-chamba” or random kind of thing. My sister purchased a case of these Sicilian oranges (Bella Vita) and we enjoyed them freshly squeezed over several breakfasts during the trip. We were lucky to have any at all as they tend to be in season from January through April. Last year when we were in Barcelona, there were a few blood oranges left in the markets there but it was also at the tail end of the season… If you ever come across these oranges for sale at your local markets or while on a trip, you must try them for yourselves…utterly stunning!



  1. arlene says:

    Interesting! my first time to see & hear about these blood oranges. Can’t wait to read more of your NY trip.

    May 28, 2007 | 9:28 pm


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  3. SDF says:

    Hi MM,
    Your NY posts made me come out from just a silent admirer and a bit lazy commenter. Of course your blog’s number one in my list.Thanks for all your helpful tips and very tempting recipes.
    So, what I was about to say is that, your NY thing’s very timely for me bec. I’ll be flying to the big apple this Sun.
    I took down notes on some addresses and all those stuffs to eat,thanks again for that. My cousin w/ whom I’ll be staying with isn’t in Manhattan, she’s some 30 mn.drive but I’ll sure ask her to take me to those addresses.I’ve been to NY twice but hardly had the time to really enjoy. Now, thru your posts, I think I’ll be ok.
    Meanwhile, I still have up to Sat.here to read more.
    More power.

    May 28, 2007 | 10:44 pm

  4. wil-b cariaga says:

    the pastry chef here makes really good blood orange sorbet, hehe I always have this at my graveyard shift, where I am alone. . . hehehe and also lemongrass and kalamansi sorbet, i prefer this than ice cream. . . yummy

    May 29, 2007 | 6:15 am

  5. elaine says:

    An aunt in Vermont once served blood orange sorbet when I came to visit one summer…never really paid much attention to it..until a friend in Temecula served it cut up in wedges…although one has to be carefull when eating the fruit this way, it can stain! They’re quite abundant in southern ca.,it made a good pasalubong back home. :}

    May 29, 2007 | 6:57 am

  6. Queen B says:

    This was in season a few months back but didn’t give it a try. I’ll buy some next time I see it in the market… the color sure makes this visually interesting.

    May 29, 2007 | 9:11 am

  7. Kieran says:

    I love blood oranges! I enjoy them juiced, cut and chilled in wedges, and in sangria. My wife makes a blood orange vinaigrette with olive oil, garlic, and parmesan. It’s the perfect summer fruit!

    May 29, 2007 | 10:05 am

  8. ragamuffin girl says:

    there’s a resto here in HK (Thai Basil, Pacific Place) that makes my favorite salad called Sexy’s Papaya- shredded papaya, raw tuna, with a blood orange dressing that binds the whole thing perfectly! May I know if your daughter got the Millie’s pastries from the airport?

    May 29, 2007 | 10:12 am

  9. Marketman says:

    ragamuffin, yes, Millie’s at the mezzanine food court at the Hong Kong Airport. I had actually never heard of them before… my daughter seems to have a good sense for the sweet stuff, if you know what I mean! :) Kieran, blood orange vinagrette, I love the idea! Will have to try that the next time I have blood oranges! Wil-b, are you able to share the kalamansi and lemongrass sorbet recipe? Or the blood orange one? I would love to try that one day, especially since I got a small sorbet machine in NY and it is coming home in a balikbayan box!

    May 29, 2007 | 10:25 am

  10. MRJP says:

    I keep seeing these oranges in the fruit stores. But I never tried them because I thought they would taste like grapefruit since they’re red. Grapefruit is one of the might give it a try it one of these days :)

    May 29, 2007 | 10:48 am

  11. TOPING says:

    Darn. Blood oranges, you say? And I have yet to try the Sagada ones! ;-o BTW, MM, shouldn’t the lead sentence read “Blood red oranges”, not “Blood red orange juice”?

    May 29, 2007 | 11:15 am

  12. Mila says:

    I had an amazing gelato made out of blood oranges in Philadelphia a couple of years ago. Gorgeous color and wonderfully citrus flavor. There’s a local juice distributor here in Manila, Tipco ?, that sells blood orange juice in many of the chinese groceries.

    May 29, 2007 | 11:21 am

  13. Marketman says:

    Mila, WOW! I would have never guessed there was the juice for sale here… on your recommendation, I tried the TIPCO Kiwi juice that was very good… hmmm, I will keep my eyes out for the blood orange juice. Toping, you are right, edits done, thanks! MRJP, these are no where near as bitter as grapefruit…though I noticed on this past trip that the grapefruit are quite sweet these days…nothing like the bitter grapefruit I used to eat 20 years ago…

    May 29, 2007 | 11:38 am

  14. MRJP says:

    Thanks for the tip, MM! I should have written, “grapefruit is one of the fruits that I dont like”… really? grapefruits are sweeter these days? I wonder how bitter they were 20 years ago! Because I still think that grapefruits today are bitter, at least to my taste… I should eat lots of grapefruits and drink its juice as they said this fruit is really good for the health. I tried… but.. (sighed)… I failed to get my tastebud to like it :( Maybe this orange is a good substitute :)

    May 29, 2007 | 11:46 am

  15. Sister says:

    We use blood orange juice in mimosas for brunch, served in antique champagne flutes, in a salad with red onion and olives, with fennel and mache, it makes fabulous sorbet, etc. so buying a case makes this all possible!

    May 29, 2007 | 8:10 pm

  16. Jade186 says:

    Blood oranges can also be used to make better Risotto all’Arancia (oranges risotto). Hope you will be able to try cooking it day, or have you done it already?!

    May 30, 2007 | 4:35 am

  17. The Steak Lady says:

    I love this post and have been so curious about the taste. I was thrilled to find Tipco Blood Orange juice at Shopwise Alabang the other day. For only Php 89.50 for a 1 liter pack, it was quite a good deal. and i should say it tastes as good as it looks! =) Thanks MM!

    Jun 16, 2007 | 11:55 pm

  18. Marketman says:

    The Steak Lady, thanks for that tip! They sell Tipco juices at Metro Market!Market! as well so I have to look for this the next time I am there!

    Jun 17, 2007 | 2:33 pm

  19. Adrin Dansby says:

    Would like to see about ordering some of your product

    Nov 20, 2007 | 3:44 am

  20. shelia says:

    i would like to order some blood red oranges

    Dec 31, 2007 | 12:10 pm


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