Tarocco Blood Oranges
Inventory, 18 lbs : 0
Tarocco blood oranges are medium to large in size, averaging 7-10 centimeters in diameter, and are globular to round in shape with a small bump on the stem-end. The semi-thick, yellow-orange rind exhibits only the occasional light pink blush, giving no indication to the potential color of its interior. The rind is also smooth with prominent oil glands that create a pebbled appearance across the surface and underneath the surface of the rind, there is an off-white pith that is spongy and gently clings to the flesh. The flesh can range in color from orange with light blushes of pink to a deeper ruby red, depending on growing temperatures. The soft flesh is also nearly seedless, juicy, and is divided into 10-12 segments by thin membranes. Tarocco blood oranges are the sweetest of all the blood orange varieties and have a bright and balanced flavor with tangy notes of raspberry.
Tarocco blood oranges are available in the winter through spring.
Tarocco blood oranges, botanically classified as Citrus sinensis, grow on small, evergreen trees that can reach up to one meter in height and belong to the Rutaceae or citrus family. Believed to be a natural mutation of the sanguinello variety, the Tarocco's distinctive pigment is due to the presence of anthocyanin, a phytonutrient that develops when the fruit is exposed to a combination of cool and warm temperatures. Tarocco blood oranges are often considered a "half-blood" variety due to their irregularity in coloring and occasional spottiness. Favored in Italy for their juicy, sweet flesh and unique coloring, Tarocco blood oranges are used by both chefs and home cooks as a flavoring for baked goods, marinades, and fruit juice.
Tarocco blood oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and are rich in antioxidants. They also contain potassium, folate, and dietary fiber.
Tarocco blood oranges are best suited for both sweet and savory preparations and are most commonly used raw to showcase their sweet flavor. The fruit can be sliced and the wedges tossed into fruit bowls, green salads, and grain bowls, or the wedges can be consumed as a stand-alone snack. The delicately tinted juice can also be used in cocktails, teas, and syrups to impart the unique blood orange flavor without the usual deep red color of other varieties. In addition to drinks, the juice can be used to flavor baked goods, gelato, jellies, candies, marinades, and sauces. Tarocco blood oranges pair well with red onions, fennel, radishes, mint, bitter greens, spinach, prosecco, other citrus, soft cheeses, yogurt, seafood, honey, and olives. The fruit will keep up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
Tarocco blood oranges are the most popular citrus variety in their native home of Italy. In one legend, the name Tarocco is believed to have been derived from the exclamation of the farmer upon seeing the new variety. "Tarocco" is a colloquial term used in Italy as a reference to a fake or fraud. Tarocco blood oranges account for approximately sixty percent of Italy’s blood orange production and are often labeled as the best “arancia da tavola” or table orange, squeezed fresh as a breakfast juice.
Tarocco blood oranges were first discovered growing in eastern Sicily in the 19th century along the rich fertile slopes of Mount Etna. The oranges are still grown by local farmers on Mount Etna today and are one of the most commercially produced blood orange varieties in Italy. The first Tarocco blood orange tree was then introduced to the United States in 1880 where it was naturalized in Florida. Tarocco blood orange trees also flourish in the coastal citrus growing regions of California and can be found at specialty grocers, farmer markets, and in home gardens, in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Recipes that include Tarocco Blood Oranges. One is easiest, three is harder.