What are blood oranges?

Blood Oranges

Blood oranges are a very unique-looking fruit. When you cut into an orange, you expect it to be, well, orange. Blood oranges are red inside, and can range from having a handful of red streaks inside to being so dark that they appear to be purple.

Blood oranges have been cultivated for centuries, primarily in Sicily, Italy, and are grown in many Mediterranean countries. The oranges were introduced to the US in the 1930s and are grown in much of the Southwestern US, from California to Texas. The season lasts from November to May, with the peak coming between December and March. There are a few varieties of blood orange. Moro are the darkest blood oranges, and have the sweetest flavor, with berry tones. Sanginello is of medium sweetness with a medium amount of color, and is from Spain. Tarocco is the most popular variety on Italy and is considered to be the sweetest of the blood oranges. Type aside, as a general rule all blood oranges are quite sweet – sweeter than many regular varieties of orange – and have floral notes to them.

If you see a recipe that calls for blood oranges, you can easily substitute regular (non-blood) oranges or orange juice in that recipe. You might end up missing out on some of the lovely pink color that blood oranges can infuse, but the recipe will work just fine.

25 comments

  1. This is weird, my grandparents just gave me a bag of blood oranges and I had never seen them but there way better then regular oranges and thanks for confirming the name. I love you blog by the way!

  2. I love blood oranges! There’s a recipe for blood orange flan that I”ve been dying to try, but the oranges at my local store haven’t been looking so good. I’m waiting for a good crop to come in.

  3. This is so funny. I was just given some freshly picked blood oranges… Of course used them up with in two days. They are great in a vodka martini with a little simple syrup. A friend had never seen them before and I had to explain them to her..
    Thanks for the blog, love the reading.

  4. i have never seen blood oranges…. do they taste the same as normal oranges?

  5. Just bought some blood oranges from TJs last week. My parents were so confused when I brought them some because they were expecting regular oranges :)

  6. I just used these to make chocolate orange bars!

  7. I agree that blood oranges are good to eat as well as beautiful to look at in things. Such a beautiful color if you find the really dark ones. I have several recipes that call for blood oranges but they never seem to make it in the recipe–just in my mouth. LOL

  8. Blood oranges are lovely, in fact, I just had one last night for dinner. I only wish they weren’t called blood oranges, it makes them seem so barbaric when they are as sweet and savory as their orange-orange brothers and sisters.

  9. Blood oranges are delicious!

  10. OMG I don’t know blood oranges is Exist. I live in tropical country but never seen before this beautiful and teasing orange..Make we really want to squeeze it :-). Thank you, next time I go to the fruit market I will watch over for it.

  11. It looks so beautiful in color. What a pity it’s not available here in HK, perhaps can ask my friend in S.F. to get me a few when she comes back for vacation during coming X’mas

  12. I am a big fan of blood orange Martini’s. They use these and add a little vodka :)

  13. Blood oranges are the perfect compliment to Absolut! My only weakness!

  14. Blood orange looks beautiful. I love it …

  15. i like blood oranges these is very health.

  16. i am addicted to blood oranges i drink it in my all breakfasts

  17. i agree that this is very healthy

  18. in my country blood orange is really expensive

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  21. first time to try the Moro and i love it. very sweet

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