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All About Oranges


Orange trees have been cultivated for over 4,000 years. Their sweet juice and fragrant peel have long made them a favourite in both sweet and savoury dishes.

Tips and advice

  • Choose firm oranges that are heavy for their size. The peel should be smooth and free of mould, spots and soft areas.
  • If you’re cooking with the zest, wash the orange in warm water and give it a light scrub to remove any wax or chemicals. Gently roll the peel with your fingers to release the essential oils.
  • If you remove the orange peel and place the fruit in the refrigerator, the cold temperature will cause the white pith to contract and harden, making it easier to remove.
  • The orange is, of course, essential in making duck à l'orange, but it is also used to make sweet and sour sauce, barbecue sauce, and many other sauces that accompany poultry, pork or fish.
  • If you keep your oranges in the refrigerator, leave them at room temperature for a few minutes before eating them to increase the flavour.
  • Before juicing, roll the orange on a flat surface while applying slight pressure to break down internal membranes and get more juice out of the orange.
  • Bitter oranges are used primarily in the preparation of delicious marmalades because they have the perfect degree of sourness and a high pectin content.

Expert Tip

When grating or zesting an orange, always work with the whole fruit, since it provides more to grip and lessens the risk of injury. Orange peel can be frozen or dehydrated.

Orange varieties

Oranges are classified into two major groups: bitter oranges and sweet oranges.



Sweet oranges


Valencia orange

Very sweet and juicy; excellent for making orange juice.

Hamlin orange

Small in size, few seeds; lighter coloured flesh; acidic and fragrant flavour; juice is somewhat yellow in colour rather than orange.

Moro orange or blood orange

Less acidic, with hints of plum and wild strawberries; sweet, delicious, often seedless.

There are two major types of blood oranges: pure blood orange, with large blood-red spots scattered on the skin and flesh, and the half blood orange, with orange skin speckled with red spots.

The blood orange is available in your Metro supermarket from December to May.

Navel orange

The most popular eating orange; sweet, juicy and almost seedless; very fragrant peel.

Cara Cara navel orange

All the characteristics of the navel orange but with a unique dark pink to red flesh.

Bitter oranges


Bitter orange or Seville orange

Excellent for cooking; perfect for marmalades and jams.

May replace lemon juice.

Taste is too bitter to be consumed fresh.  

Séville oranges are available in January, February and March.



Oranges are available year-round at Metro supermarkets.

Nutritional value

Eating a single orange will supply more than the minimum recommended daily requirement of vitamin C. It also supplies folic acid, potassium and dietary fibre.

Vitamin C, however, is sensitive to air and heat. Consume oranges shortly after having extracted the juice or having cut the orange in segments to avoid losing some of the vitamin.


Oranges can remain at room temperature for about one week. For longer storage, place them in the fruit compartment of your refrigerator.

To avoid condensation, which accelerates the deterioration of oranges, punch small holes in storage bag or leave storage containers half open.

Try oranges in these recipes