The orange is the well-known fruit that is found in the vast majority of Spanish households and in large proportion of orchards. It is without a doubt one of the most excellent fruits growing on the Iberian Peninsula, and in the Valencia region in particular, which is what makes the Valencia orange so famous.
As we all know, the orange is an edible citrus fruit that is found growing on several different trees, such as the sweet or sour orange trees. This fruit tends to have a somewhat thick peel with large juice-filled wedges inside. In terms of size, it is larger than a mandarin but smaller than a grapefruit.
It’s also common knowledge that all citrus fruits are acidic, with the ph of an orange ranging between 2.5 and 3, depending on the size, maturity and variety. There are actually many different orange varieties in the region, such as the Valencia orange, the Blood orange and the Navel orange, for example.
Speaking of some of the important properties of oranges, one of the most fundamental is the amount of vitamin C they contain. This can be very useful in the field of health, especially cardiovascular health, as it prevents the accumulation of bad cholesterol in blood vessels. It also has an antioxidant effect, which means that it can help fight against the emergence of diseases like cancer, for example.
Another curiosity with oranges is their positive effect on skin ageing by providing nutrients that help counteract the dehydration caused by the Sun.
But that’s not all, oranges have several more little-known properties. Orange peel for example, is able to help to remove unpleasant odours in the kitchen.
The oils found in oranges also act as a natural insect repellent, which can be used with plants to prevent insects from attacking them.
Another of the more interesting tidbits of information is that dry orange peel can be used as a fuel, and there are even industries that manage to extract bioethanol from the peel.
The last point to comment on isn’t to do with the properties of oranges, but rather one of their most important uses in Valencia. This is the “Agua de Valencia”, a cocktail made from orange juice, champagne, vodka and gin. It was invented by Constant Gil in 1959 to compete with what was known as the “Agua de Bilbao” at the time. Since that time it has become one of the most popular beverages in Valencia.
In this article we have seen that the orange is a fundamental part of Valencian culture and that those growing in these region are the best you’ll find. So come to this wonderful city and discover the Valencia orange! If you want to try other amazing Valencian delicacies then why not try Horchata, another gem from this city.