Posted by Tristan on:
The farmers market has exploded with citrus in the past couple week and this season seems extra abundant to me. I have been receiving oranges and lemons from friends with trees faster than I can eat them. And I can eat a lot of fruit. If you have citrus trees or friends with citrus trees you are probably well stocked on vitamin C at the moment.
In addition to the run of the mill lemons, limes and navel oranges, I spotted at the farmers’ market last week: mandarins, tangerines, satsumas, and blood oranges. Grape fruit can’t be far behind.
If you have not yet had a blood orange I recommend you get down to farmers market on Tuesday afternoon and buy a pound or two. The fruit gets its name from its deep red flesh and juice. The red pigment, anthocyanin, is an antioxidant that reduces the risks associated with many ailments, including age-related illnesses. One medium-sized orange also contains about 260 milligrams of potassium. All the nutritional benefits are great, but I get blood oranges for the unique flavor.
Blood oranges are in the sweet orange family like navels, or valencias, but have a more complex flavor profile. The primary taste is unmistakably orange but there are notes cherry, raspberry and grapefruit. This is especially true of the Moro variety, which, I’m pretty sure are the orange I bought at the market. Moros are noted for their variegated color, both in the flesh and on the rind. Their complex affect on the pallet is like biting in to a fresh and refreshing fruit punch.
I eat most of my oranges cut in to half round or “soccer slices” but I like to make blood orange angel cakes on occasion. Here’s how I do it
6 mini angel food cakes (or shortcake)
2 lbs blood oranges peeled and sliced crosswise into 3/4 inch chunks
2 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs chopped fresh mint
Toss the oranges in a bowl with the sugar and mint. Set aside for at least 30 minutes at room temperature so the fruit becomes juicy, making its own syrup. Spoon over cakes and enjoy.