Blood Oranges

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Comments

  1. Amanda

    Beautiful pictures!!! I remember eating blood oranges when I was little and lived in Florida. Unfortunately not even the local specialty stores sell them up here in Alaska, however.

  2. c

    I remember I was in third grade when my friend surprised me by biting into that strange looking orange segment, dripping red everywhere and staining her teeth and lips. Haha. Maybe it’s a bit of that third grader’s fascination with the gross and messy, but I still love the name ‘blood orange’.

  3. Meg

    I love blood oranges! Trader Joe’s is selling them by the bagful right now. They also sell a wonderfully tart and refreshing blood orange juice (perfect for a new twist on the old mimosa). I was scouring the aisles for it this weekend, only to be told it’s not currently in stock. I’ll be waiting impatiently!

  4. David

    I may be showing my age, but I remember in the 80′s when I was working in a restaurant, we were using a lot of these (and back then, they were all imported from Italy.)

    Customers would come in the kitchen and see us slicing them, and ask; “How do you get the oranges that color?”

    Now they’re much more common in markets, but you’re so lucky to have a prolific tree just within reach!

  5. Susan

    The first time I ever heard of blood oranges was during our first trip to Italy in 1989. I ordered OJ for breakfast and was served a glass of some deep red liquid that did, indeed, resemble blood. I was told that it was “Italian” orange juice. One sip and I was hooked! I only wish that I could find these delicious fruits here more often. On the rare occasion I do find and buy them, I am always disappointed because they are invariably dry and bitter. If I could find a tree, I’d plant it!

    Hi Susan, yep a lot of the times the blood oranges we get from the store are dry. What a waste! But when they are good, they are truly great. ~Elise

  6. Kirsten

    I don’t want to rename them. I like the way they sound semi-sinister. But I’d buy them for my blood-orange, black-olive salad any day of the week, regardless of their name. So, if you must endow them with a new name (Scarlet Oranges, Strawberry Oranges, Cardinal Oranges, the Best Oranges), do what you must.

  7. Jerry

    I’ve only seen blood oranges once since I moved to Texas, at the same time ugli fruit was available at our local gourmet store. I used to eat them all the time when I lived in California.

    My boys loved them, because they thought they were “Gross”, which is a good thing for a 7 year old man-to-be.

    I hope you enjoy your tree very much!

  8. jonathan

    If memory serves me correctly, you have both Meyer lemon and blood orange trees in your backyard, correct?

    Looking out my back window, I see…pine needles, and…oh look! A deer. And there’s some brown grass!

    At the grocery store yesterday, blood oranges (small ones) were 3/$1.99.

    Curses, you West Coasters. Curses.

    I may give Garrett’s blood orange curd a spin. I’m thinking that would be uberlicious in a trifle.

  9. stephanie

    i’ve seen them called ‘blush oranges’ in a few places around CT lately. i guess blush sounds a bit less scary to folks, albeit a less accurate descriptive.

  10. Bob

    The first time I was able to get and enjoy a blood orange (last year) I tried it and was hooked. They are so delicious and the name? Maybe Ruby Orange or jewel orange as there are plenty of those who also avoid any source of mention of alcohol.

    I was at a coffee shop when the owner told me they were harassed by some who were recovering alcoholics for using syrups out of bottles that resembled alcohol bottles to them (there aren’t may other kinds). Kind of silly, but giving them a name that infers they’re precious and should be treasured might be best. :)

    Hmm. Ruby oranges. I like that. People already handle ruby grapefruit. Orange Board, are you listening? ~Elise

  11. Ernesto

    I use them in a fantastic guava bbq sauce. Saute a shallot and 2-3 garlic cloves in olive oil until translucent, throw in about 8 oz. guava paste. Once it starts to melt down, add the juice of 2 blood oranges. If you don’t get the right consistency (like normal bbq sauce) add another orange or two, or use some sherry or red wine if it’s too sweet for you.

  12. Christine

    Thank you for listing my post – I really do enjoy the look and taste of blood oranges. I find its name great for a just a little added shock value :)

  13. Tempered Woman

    Yeah~ I heart blood oranges! They make the best Christmas margaritas and are the perfect change of pace for seafood sauces. Thanks for getting the word out. I think you might be right~ we need some stong pro-blood oranges marketing in the food world.

  14. Tina

    Elise, I am truly jealous! No only do you have both a Meyer lemon tree and a blood orange tree, as well as lovely weather, here I sit in Pennsylvania, with gray skies, freezing rain, and bare trees. I did bring back some wonderful oranges, tangerines, honeybelles and grapefruit from Florida earlier this month, but the two things I really wanted to find down there were blood oranges and key limes. Oddly, I found neither, although someone did try to tell me that in Florida, blood oranges are known as red navel oranges. Very tasty, but definitely not the same thing!

  15. Lady Amalthea

    I adore blood oranges. As a kid, they were one of my favorite fruits. I always assumed they were hard to find because they had to be imported, but, obviously, I’m wrong. So if it’s the name, let’s do it!

  16. Karen

    YAY! I LOVE Blood oranges. I lived in Italy during part of my university days and drank fresh squeezed blood orange juice almost everyday on my walk to school. They are a sadly under-appreciated fruit in the USA. Since moving to CA I’m seeing them more in grocery stores and being used in restaurant menus. I’m so glad they’re gaining in popularity here! Thanks for this great post Elise!

  17. Ellen

    We moved to England a year ago, and I was pleased to see blood oranges here, under the name “sanguinello.” According to Wikipedia, that is just one type of blood orange, but it is a fine one. When you think of the relationship between the words “sanguine” and “sangre” your thoughts about “Sangria orange” are not too far off!

  18. robin

    I have never had one. Can’t seem to find them where we live in Oklahoma!

    I did just recently purchase blood orange olive oil and can’t wait to try it this summer when we start grilling out.

    Love your site!

  19. Lillianne

    I actually like the striking name Blood Oranges. My daughter had them in Italy and when she came home she begged me to find some for her. After many years this is the first time I’ve seen them in Shreveport, Louisiana, and they were so pitiful looking (and pricey) I didn’t even buy them. Wish we had a source for fresh ones. The Whole Foods in New Orleans said they carry them but they were out of season when we were there.

    Attention all grocers: We want a wider variety of fresh produce.

  20. Frank Woelke

    Hi,
    I loved your article about “Blood Oranges” but changing the name to Sangria oranges does not really change anything. In spanish “Sangria” means blood so we should just leave it in English, as they say ” a rose is still a rose by any other name” Blood oranges are beautiful fruit no matter what you call them.

    Yes, I mentioned the meaning of sangria in my write-up. I do like commenter Bob’s suggestion to call them ruby oranges. The problem in the U.S. is that one of the main reasons these oranges don’t have a big market is the name. Many people just don’t want to buy anything to eat with the word “blood” in it. ~Elise

  21. Heather

    But…Sangria (or rather, sangre) means blood! So basically we’d just be calling them Blood Oranges in a different language. I love the name, so primal.

  22. Hal

    My first experience with blood oranges was working with a chef in Pittsburgh. He made a balsamic, blood orange, fennel and honey reduction to pour over a sesame crusted seared tuna steak. That was one of the most awesome dishes I’ve ever eaten. I’ve copied it at home at least a dozen times and usually pull it out when I want to impress some one.

    Ahem, recipe, please? ;-) ~Elise

  23. Sherry

    I have the great good fortune to live in Little Italy, Vancouver BC. It’s the first time in my life I’ve been able to buy all the Blood Oranges I’ve wanted. I use them to make Blood Orange marmalade, a floral, more gentle marmalade than regular orange or grapefruit. And I use them in sections with thinly sliced fennel bulb with a drizzle of EVOO and pepper for a crisp, beautiful salad. Of course, Blood Orange gelato is almost too good for mere mortals, but I suffer through it.

    New to your site. I think it’s lovely!

  24. katy

    That first photo is just perfect. their color is really special — I’m sure that I’ve probably eaten them before, but I somehow can’t remember when or whether I liked them (usually, oranges are not my favorites). Oh well — good excuse to pick one up and see!

  25. Mady

    I like your marketing ideas on blood oranges, but renaming the fruit would take the fun out of my favorite Halloween beverages (alas, made with bottled blood orange juice, since the holiday hits before the oranges are ripe)

    My favorite: blood orange mimosas for a Halloween costume brunch. (Fresh orange juice, bottled blood orange juice, champagne—frightful AND delightful!)

  26. Michelle

    The first time I heard of blood oranges was when my parents moved to Arizona 25 years ago and they bought a citrus tree at a nursery that was half price because the tag fell off and they didn’t know what variety it was. Mom was always one to buy a bargain so she bought it and planted it. The next year it had these oranges with a red tinge to them. What a surprise when we cut into one! But how heavenly when you ate one! I always liked to squeeze a couple and put into the fresh lemonade we would make – pink lemonade naturally and with a different taste.

    Great. Now I’m craving blood oranges and living in WA state, not sure if anyone has them around here! :-)

  27. Donald

    I couldn’t agree more!

    I recently blogged about using the oranges, or are they “reds”, with arugula, goat cheese, and toasted pint nuts. I just picked up some more of them and I actually plan to juice some of them this weekend and use some in a duck breast dish.

    I think they are delicious.

    Nice pic, very appetizing.

  28. Jen

    Oh my I love this post and these oranges. Coincidently I was just reading another blog with Meyer lemon recipes. Two of my favorites citruses!
    These oranges are indeed perfect for cocktails (paired w/ grapefruit too) and salads.

  29. White On Rice Couple

    Oh how we love blood oranges too! Our tree is full of fruit now, but they’re not quite ready yet. Maybe in another week or two, they’ll be ready for eating and juicing. Thank you so much for all the great blood orange recipes. It’s all such a tease now, but it’ll be worth it in a few more weeks. Thanks!

  30. Jess

    Those look absolutely ambrosial, and the name alone would probably be half of what would lure me to its nectar! I have never had the chance to taste one, but I think I should make it a point to very very soon.

    A name such as Sangria would be quite applicable, for the aforementioned reasons as well as its veritable euphony AND its association with the word “sanguine.” It is from that same root as blood, but it has also taken a sense of “optimism or cheerfulness,” as the medieval physiologists considered a supposed abundance of blood in the system to mark one’s temperament as being optimistic, courageous, and easy to fall in love.

  31. Kevin

    Sangria is a nice name. I tell my kids they’re called berry-oranges. I think you’re right about the marketing. Remove the word “blood” from the name.

    Last year I made orange mamalade with berry-oranges. Yum!

  32. Ellen

    I forgot to mention yesterday a favorite blood orange product, Blood Orange Vinegar, by Perel. I’ve bought it at Wegman’s and you can get it by the liter from internet sources (google-able). Perfect on a salad of baby spinach, sliced kumquats, dried cranberries and pecans.

  33. Amy

    Haha… I am sitting here eating a blood orange and I came across your blog. I just bought some at my local grocery store in the exotic fruits section and had my first ever Blood orange yesterday. I’ve always been intrigued by the name, actually, and I’ve wanted to try them for a long time, but hadn’t seen them around. I believe that, as consumers are becoming more discerning, grocery stores are beginning to offer a wider variety of items, and I’ve especially noticed it in the produce section. I have to say, I think I’m in love with these oranges, so hopefully they’ll catch on and become more readily available!

  34. HornCologne

    Funny, these are called both “arance rosse” (red oranges) and “sanguinelle” (from the word for blood, “sangue”) in Italy, and they sell just fine. I am willing to bet, however, that the name would be no barrier in Europe, anyway, since people here are a whole lot less squeamish.

    I can think of at least one country (Ireland) and one city (Cologne) whose specialties include “blood sausage” that really is made from blood! (And onions and spices …) Yum! Since it is dark, dark red to black in color, it is called “Cologne caviar” – people think it is that good!

  35. Sally C

    My favorite fruit. I have a tree too, right across the yard from the Meyer Lemon. I blogged about blood oranges just last week! This year’s crop was very flavorful with big fruit but not many of them. Last year’s was just the reverse: many small oranges, not much flavor.

  36. michelle

    Those pictures are mouth-watering.

    I kinda like the name “blood oranges,” it sounds so primal. I wish they were easier to get where I live; I would take baths in blood orange curd if I could.

    Okay, that sounded more disturbing than I meant it to sound. But I maintain that I love both the fruit and the name, and bemoan my current lack of blood oranges.

  37. Babs

    Renaming blood oranges is just silly. We simply can’t be changing names of foods just to satisfy people who are unadventurous or so swayed by a word. I suppose there are people who might want to rename Spotted Dick to “steamed pudding”, too, which removes much of its charm. The word “blood” reinforces the idea of these oranges as special and sensual. I say thumbs down for dumbing down!

    Ever wonder why “spotted dick” has never taken off here in America? ;-)
    My name change proposal is half tongue-in-cheek, half serious. It’s not to satisfy the unadventurous, but to ensure that those of us who want this fruit to be more available, have it. If renaming the fruit to something more appetizing does the trick, then I’m all for it. It’s not “dumbing down” it’s “repositioning”. ;-) ~Elise

  38. Kelli Lynn

    I adore blood orange season and have been known to ring in various “singleton” Valentine’s Days with Blood Orange Mimosas (made with Freshly Squeezed Blood Orange Juice from Trader Joe’s). Why not toast one’s single self in style?

    For a phenomenal yet simple, clean and light dessert, I can’t recommend enough NY Times columnist Mark Bittman’s “Citrus Aspic with Honey and Mint.” Beautiful as is, yet substitute blood oranges for the navel oranges and the presentation and taste jump up a notch to gorgeous.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E2D7143FF932A35752C0A9659C8B63

  39. K.C.

    The Blood Orange is a great fruit. If the name seems to freakish how about these choices: Garnet Orange, Ruby Orange, Mystic Orange, Valentine Orange or Love Orange. Fun with names – either way it is a yummy treat!

  40. Rokhead

    I totally agree – Blood Oranges are awesome! However, there is a more appetizing name for them – Moro Oranges. That is more often what I have seen them listed as in the produce aisle.

  41. Terry B

    You’re right–the name is exactly the problem for me with blood oranges. Prunes have suffered a similar image problem. That’s why the marketing powers that be have begun rebranding them as dried plums. Right now, it’s small type on almost all packages, no matter the seller. Eventually, I bet dried plums takes over as the name.

  42. Janet

    I brought a few blood oranges home from Whole Foods today — quite decadent…My sixth grader has several friends over right now and I just offered to cut them up so he can share them with the group. He looked at me like I had lost my mind and said he’d wait until they all go home to eat them. Selfish. Understandably so.
    Love your site.
    If you get that recipe from Hal, please share!

  43. Bev Taylor

    I also had my first blood orange in Italy, I drank the juice as often as I could and bought delicious fresh blood oranges from street vendors. I too bought some from a grocery store, even the good ones are not as good but much more affordable than a quick trip to Italy.

  44. HarryK

    What you said about the marketing people calling it “Sangria Orange” … perfect idea!

    Afterall rapeseed oil is called canola oil in the US. And the “cantaloupe” we eat is not true cantaloupe, which can only be gotten in some Southeast Asian countries; we’re actually eating musk melon. But who would buy it with that name?

  45. Amanda @ Little Foodies

    I tried blood orange for the first time last week as they came in our organic veg box. I’ll admit the name did put me off, even when I first peeled the orange and was about to start eating I was still unsure. But after the first taste I was hooked. Unfortunately I only had one as my children and husband snaffled the rest!

  46. Beverly Forell

    Yummmmm! I love blood oranges! I grew up with a tree that is , now, probably 40-45 years old and still put out enormous amounts of fruit every year. We’ve never used them in any recipe, just ate them straight off the tree. I guess I’m blessed to have so many to share… along with naval oranges, persimmons, pomegranates, almonds, plums, walnuts, apricots, grapefruit, tangerines, and many others. My dad loved fruit and nuts and planted all the trees we have. :-) Think I’ll go pick a “blood orange” right now and enjoy!

  47. Renee

    Personally, I have never seen or tried blood oranges; however, now that I know that they sometimes go by other names, I will look more carefully. I don’t like the name either, but I would be willing to try the fruit after reading how exquisite it is! Thanks for the info and for the link to the pork loin recipe. I’m going to try that even if I have to use regular oranges!

  48. Morsels of Memory

    Your idea of “repositioning” the blood, or shall I say “Sangria” orange is a stroke of marketing creativity. Yet I wonder why Bloody Mary is such a popular cocktail despite its name?

  49. Piper

    Here in Colorado, they have started marketing them as “Moro oranges.” Doesn’t matter, they still taste awesome, and whenever I eat one in front of a blood orange virgin, they ask for a bite . . .”

  50. Elise

    Moro is actually a variety of blood orange, so calling them that is perfect. Avoids the word “blood”, but is an accurate naming of the fruit.

  51. Anna-Banana

    The word sangría comes from the Spanish sangre meaning blood.
    Therefore, we really are not changing the name at all!

    Yes indeed, as was mentioned in the post. But it still sounds better, doesn’t it? ~Elise

  52. fuhlipik

    Thank you for prompting so many people to share recipes and ideas. I do not care about name, but I liked, that you called them “royal”. Their name in Russia is in translation “little royal” (or “ko-ro-ljok”). We do not even add “orange”, everybody knows what it is. And it is the best orange.

  53. Cd123456789

    Blood oranges are the boss. I incorporate them whereever possible, and am thankful TJ’s is now carrying them by the bag. Blood orange juice drinks are prefect for red holidays: try adding some to Champagne with a little cassis –YUM! Epicurious.com has a blood orange and cranberry sauce/chutney recipe using whole (skin and all) blood oranges, which is to die for. I recently found a blood orange infused olive oil at Henri’s which actually made the chicken taste orange (i normally find it very hard to get the flavor infused into the chicken). If we keep asking for blood oranges, the market will respond.

  54. Jess

    I found some in the market recently – I hadn’t seen them there before, and now it’s pretty much the end of the season! At any rate, I made a very tasty fennel and blood orange salad with them. They match so well with the olives, and they looked so pretty against the fennel!

  55. Cindy

    I am so glad I found this site. I planted a blood orange tree in my backyard a few years ago. It seems to like where its planted by the amount of leaves that keep growing on it, but it has not produced yet. When I read your site and found out that it took 5 years to produce I was happy to hear that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I thought maybe you had to use a specific fertilizer to get it to produce. If there is one you suggest I would gladly take the advice. I can’t wait for the first crop. I also have 2 other orange type trees in the backyard, pear trees that produced huge last year but would not ripen, a peach tree that produced great last year and a five fruit tree that supposedly grows well in Kentucky but all I can get it to do is grow leaves. I live in Alabama and love all the fruit trees you can plant.

  56. Johanna from Australia

    Hi
    I’m a citrus grower from Australia and just wanted to let you all know that we have quite a few acres planted of blood oranges. The good news is we are going to send our best ones to the States this year. So keep an eye out for our “Bloods” around August September in stores. The brand name is “Riversun”. You’ll see a green and gold sticker with a kangaroo on it, thats us!
    I’ll keep you posted which stores they will be sold in, I do know that they will only be sold on the west coast this year.
    Its great to hear so many people love this citrus fruit as we think they are just lovely too!

  57. Greg Lumley

    Use Blood oranges in your marmalade recipes , you will never go back to regular navel oranges
    My wife and I use this for Christmas gifts. People who don’t like marmalade, suddenly love this version.

    I make a version of marmalade with some blood oranges in it, in addition to seville oranges, and you’re right, the taste really is out of this world. ~Elise

  58. Eric D.

    You, sir, are a genius! As I sit here reading your article I instantly start trying to think of another name, but nothing as enticing as Sangria Oranges would have come to mind. That is perfect! You should be more coy with your ideas, this could make money. I never thought of how much of a turn off the name itself is, I guess because I was always open minded about many things including food. I would bet the change would even have a psychological effect on people, making them believe Sangria Oranges were better than Blood oranges.

    My advice: move to Florida (I am just assuming they grow there), get some land while it’s cheap. Start growing your own and open up the Sunkist equivalent of blood oranges.

  59. ValLynn

    Love your site – thanks for the inspiration. My store has blood oranges right now so I made a baked pork and sweet potato dish with them last night. Wonderful! :)

  60. Michelle

    My dad bought blood oranges when I was a kid and didn’t tell my mom, so she cut them for me and we were both very very disturbed, so much so, that we threw them out! we thought there was something seriously wrong, like an orange virus of bloody death!

    I think they should be renamed ruby oranges, because they taste like what crushed rubies might be like from the land of Bism. ;) except that that name reminds me of grapefruit :P.

  61. JTj

    My mother has a blood orange tree that produces the best oranges ever! So I planted one and the oranges it produces is not very good! I have no idea why, but the oranges are sweet but have no other flavor. Not a hint of citrus. If you were in a blind-fold taste test, you would not guess it was a citrus fruit.

    Any one out there have a clue why?

    Blood oranges come in different varieties. Some are much better tasting than others. It sounds like perhaps you planted a variety that isn’t the tastiest. ~Elise

  62. Brian

    I just had a ten lb box of tarocco blood oranges shipped to me in d.c.. They are so fresh compared to the whole foods ones. I made scallops with a blood orange gastrique, a blood orange, tarragon, mint, parsley salad and a blood orange pannacotta with and still have half a box left. Check out local harvest website. That’s where I found them

  63. Helen Newtown

    I just bought a Bag of these Oranges from my Local Walmart, so any of you looking for them, can find them there. They are Juicy and sweet, and I am thinking would be great in a Sangria…YUM…looking up recipes now.