Blood oranges may look just like regular oranges on the outside (albeit with a pink and red tone), but have dark, ruby red pulp and juice on the inside. Their unique taste is a complex fusion of bitter orange, tangy red grapefruit, with hints of tart cherries, cranberries, and raspberries. Their distinctive "blood red" color is the result of the presence of anthocyanins, a family of polyphenol pigments found in flowers and other fruits, but not commonly in citrus fruits. They are usually seedless, and slightly smaller and less acidic than a navel orange. Blood oranges originated in Sicily in the 9th and 10th centuries, and because of their opulent appearance and singular flavor, initially were only reserved for royalty. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Ripening and Storage:
Blood oranges can be stored on the counter for several days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Eat these just as you would any other orange. For the best flavor, bring the fruit to room temperature before eating if stored in the refrigerator.
Blood oranges are delicious as-is, but can be eaten in so many ways. The fruit can be used in both sweet and savory preparations. The juice can be used in cocktails, syrups, and marinades. The juice and pulp can be used for sorbet, gelato, marmalade, jam, chutney, syrup for dessert toppings, and the zest can be used for baking. Their acidity is mellowed further in the cooking process as well.