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moro blood oranges

The color of the blood orange is due to a pigment called anthocyanin, not usually present in citrus but common in other red fruits and flowers. Temperature, amount of light and the specific variety seem to affect the coloration and intensity of blood oranges. The moro blood orange is the most commonly grown of the pigmented orange varieties, though this should not be a signal that it is the best tasting variety.

Moro blood oranges are a small orange variety with a leathery and oily rind, blushed with a suggestive color of its flesh. The skin is relatively thin, though it clings tightly to its nearly seedless, segmented flesh. Juiciness varies based upon growing region and environmental elements. Its pigment is a deep ruby, almost pomegranate, color. Moro blood oranges are sweet-tart with a somewhat insipid finish compared to other blood orange varieties.

Serving Ideas

Moro blood oranges are most often used for their juice and flesh, in both sweet and savory preparations, raw or cooked. Use the juice in cocktails, syrups and marinades. Pair with other citrus, fresh herbs, soft cheeses, seafood, shallots and olives. Use as a compliment to yogurt, honey, olive oil and butter. Moro blood oranges will keep up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Geography/History

It is believed the first natural mutation of the moro blood orange occurred from a Sanguinello Moscato variety in the mid 20th century in Sicily. Though moro blood oranges are known for their trademark external pigmentation, the pigmentation of the skin does not occur optimally in coastal citrus growing regions of California, thus making a moro blood orange less recognizable on the outside versus other blood oranges.

Seasons/Availability

Moro blood orange season ranges from winter into late spring or early summer.

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