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Monday, 11 February 2008

Blood Oranges - The Anti-Ageing Orange

Continuing our series on the health benefits of Sicilian food (see our recent story showcasing Olive Oil), we turn our attention to the Blood Orange.

The Blood Orange is believed to have appeared around 1600 as a product of natural mutation. Also known as its varietal names, Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello, the Blood Orange is native exclusively to Sicily. In fact, it naturally occurs in and around Mount Etna in Catania Province. (This provides an even better reason for its name ;)

Blood Oranges contain a pigment called anthocyanin which is not typically found in citrus but more so in other red fruits and flowers.

Blood oranges are great for juicing and using as you would common orange juice. The dark red colour of the juice makes it a good cocktail ingredient. Use fresh blood orange segments in salads, sauces, sorbets, granitas and compotes.

While Blood Oranges have been imported and grow in many other countries, nothing beats the original Sicilian flavour and kick. With over 40% higher levels of Vitamin C content than standard orange varieties, Blood Oranges have been shown to provide a natural resistance to cancer as well as assisting in the prevention of ocular disease, obesity, heart disease and stress.

Recent studies have proven so effective that a pharmaceutical-grade product, called ROC (Red Orange Complex) has been released to the medical and health & beauty community as an anti-ageing product.

To read more on the medical properties of Blood Oranges here. To read more about someone's obsession with Blood Oranges go here.

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