Cooks value blood oranges for the deep colour and complex flavour they add to salads, meat dishes, desserts and jams. The Moro variety of blood orange is the most common type sold in the United States, but Taroccos have a sweeter flavour according to NPR.org. The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center found Moros selling at a San Francisco farmers' market for £1.90 per lb. with Taroccos priced at £2.50 per lb., as of 2008. While some grocery stores carry blood oranges, other options include gourmet markets, natural food stores, produce stands and farmers' markets.
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Check your local stores for fresh blood oranges during the harvest season that runs from December through April. Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Search web page to find a farmer's market in your area if your local markets do not carry blood oranges.
Select an orange that feels heavy for its size. The orange should have a mild floral scent. Do not buy a blood orange that has soft spots or blemishes.
Purchase the number of blood oranges that you can use within one to two weeks. That is the estimated time that blood oranges will keep at room temperature. Refrigerating the oranges may extend the storage time to as much as three weeks.
Tips and warnings
- Ignore slight variations of skin colour. Some ripe oranges may have a slight green colour late in the season.
- Moro blood oranges ripen earlier than other varieties. Tarocco oranges arrive later in the season.
- Some blood orange farmers will ship directly to consumers. Speciality produce companies may also provide shipping services. Shipping adds a significant amount to the cost of the fruit, however.
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