Did you know that the orange probably comes from Southeast Asia?
The seafaring Portuguese are thought to have introduced it to Europe during the Renaissance around 1500 C.E.
From there, it spread throughout the Mediterranean and across the Atlantic to the New World.
There are dozens of varieties of oranges, including the Washington Navel, the Hamlin, and the Blood Orange.
The Blood Orange was commonly associated with the island of Malta during the 18th century. The Knights of St. John, the rulers of Malta at the time, often presented the island’s prized oranges as diplomatic gifts.
A few years ago, Tricia and I had a chance to harvest Maltese Blood Oranges. Here’s a short video of the experience:
With the arrival of December, the holiday season is now in full swing.
Perhaps you’ll want to bring a box of specialty oranges to this year’s Christmas parties. It would make a great conversation starter.
Now then — orange you glad you read this post? 🍊