Color My Winter Blood Orange

l'Arancia Rossa di Sicilia | ©Tom Palladio ImagesNothing says wintertime better around the Bel Paese than a succulent, vitamin enriched orange. But not just any orange. I’m talking about l’Arancia Rossa di Sicilia, or the Blood Orange of Sicily, the most colorful of oranges that I just can’t get enough of this time of year.

l'Arancia Rossa di Sicilia | ©Tom Palladio ImagesThe revered l’Arancia Rossa di Sicilia, with its deep red flesh and a rind that has a bright blush, comes in three varieties: Moro, Sanguinello and Tarocco. Take your pick, they’re all juicy and delicious and come with the European Union’s stamp of approval: Indicazionze Geografica Protetta  (Protected Geographical Indication).

Blood oranges of varying types are also grown in Spain, Texas, California, China and Australia, but the leader of the pack comes from the rich earth found on the eastern side of the island of Sicily in the provinces of Catania, Enna, Ragusa and Siracusa.

l'Arancia Rossa di Sicilia | ©Tom Palladio ImagesThe blood orange get’s its deep red pigment from anthocyanin, a great antioxidant. It’s loaded with vitamin C along with calcium, folate and thiamine. And, one medium size blood orange packs 28% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber.

But, the best part of the blood orange, the reason why it stands head and shoulders above the crowd, is its unique taste, a distinct raspberry-like flavor along with the usual citrus notes.

l'Arancia Rossa di Sicilia | ©Tom Palladio ImagesFor the next couple of months I’ll squeeze her to death every morning and savor each and every drop.

And, throughout the day, I’ll peel away her skin for a tasty, juicy, healthy snack.

For me, nothing says wintertime around the Bel Paese better than l’Arancia Rossa di Sicilia.


©The Palladian Traveler



  1. What a beautiful post, Tom. All that is missing is a photo of the Blood Orange Marmalade that is sitting in my frig, half gone. It is the best marmalade I have ever eaten and is great on toast. The color of the pulp and skin create a dark, beautiful spread.

      1. I bought it at my favorite fruit/vegetable market-fish market-deli up the street here in Naples. This one is from NY (must be a warm valley in the mountains of up-state 🙂 ). I didn’t checked the origin when I bought it because I was so excited to see a marmalade that looked good – they have been in short supply. I see a lot of imports from France but I haven’t seen any from Sicily. I will keep looking.

  2. I can feel my cold being blown away by the vitamin C right now! I’ll look for these and that marmelade sounds wonderful. I love “regular” orange marmelade, too.


    1. Janet — I used to eat bags of California blood oranges during the winter bought from an orchard just up the street from where I lived. Hopefully, you’ll find them at your local fruit market/store.

      1. We’re going through bags of clementines and mandarins which may not be as good as blood oranges, but are still tasty, easy to find and not expensive.

  3. I’ll be picking up a few at our grocer today! I’m in Northern California and hope that we can keep growing them what with the drought descending down upon us.

  4. MMMMmmm, blood oranges, my favourite!! I love being able to get blood orange juice here in Italy too as it has a certain kick to it that ordinary orange juice doesn’t! A fantastic article and very interesting! I shall be looking out for more!

  5. “Juicy” article and lovely pictures to brighten up a grey spring days. Blood oranges are wonderful. I don’t think we get Sicilian ones in Canada, but I’ll be on the lookout for place of origin next time I shop. Thanks for posting!


  6. Yum! I just bought some today at the local Italian grocer here north of Boston. We’ll be back in Sulmona in May and September and cannot wait for la cucina abruzzese (with a little suco siciliano on the side)!

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