Oranges orginated in China more than 4000 year ago. They were taken by the Arabs to Spain which is the origin of the Seville Orange a bitter orange that is used in marmalades. Oranges were first planted in Australia in 1788. More than half of Australia's orange crop is used to produce juice.
Selection, Storage and Availability
Oranges are picked ripe and do not ripen once picked. Select fruit that feels heavy for its size. Avoid bruised, soft or wrinkled fruit. Fruit which is a little softer will generally provide more juice. Valencia oranges have a slightly green skin this does not mean they not ripe but is because they are ripened in warmer temperatures. Oranges can be stored at room temparature but last longer if stored in the refrigerator. Navel oranges are available all year round but other varieties are more seasonal.
The juice of oranges can be used as an alternative to sugar in desserts and sweets as well as in dressings. Orange zest is great to add a little zing to savoury and sweet dishes. The flesh of the orange can be eaten by itself added to fruit salads or used in a savoury salad.
Oranges are very low in fat and high in vitamin c, thiamin, folate and potassium.