Baby Jeruk Pacitan Oranges
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Baby Jeruk Pacitans are small to medium in size, averaging eight centimeters in diameter, and are globose to ovate in shape. The semi-thin rind ranges in color from green to orange and is smooth, glossy, and covered in prominent oil glands that release a fragrant aroma via essential oils. Underneath the rind, there is a white, spongy pith that is attached firmly to the flesh and is extremely difficult to peel. The yellow-orange flesh is juicy and soft, divided into 9-10 segments by thin membranes, and contains a few cream-colored seeds. Baby Jeruk Pacitans are aromatic, tender, and contain a low acid content creating a very sweet flavor.
Baby Jeruk Pacitans are available year-round.
Baby Jeruk Pacitans, botanically classified as Citrus sinensis, are sweet oranges that belong to the Rutaceae or citrus family. Despite the belief that these oranges are named for their size, Baby Jeruk Pacitans are similar in size to other common oranges and are nicknamed “baby” for their use with small children. The sweet juice of the Jeruk Pacitan is mostly fiber-less, creating a sweet and gentle nutritional drink that is suitable for a baby’s digestive system. Baby Jeruk Pacitans are one of the most popular sweet oranges in Indonesia, consumed fresh for their juice, and are also one of the few varieties that taste sweet before they have reached full maturity.
Baby Jeruk Pacitans are an excellent source of antioxidants which help provide anti-inflammatory properties to the body. They also contain vitamin C, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, calcium, copper, magnesium, and iron.
Baby Jeruk Pacitans are best suited for juicing as their sweet flavor and fiber-less nature is showcased when consumed fresh. The rind is tough to remove from the flesh which does not allow for convenient consumption, so oftentimes the Baby Jeruk Pacitan is sliced in half and solely juiced. The sweet juice can be poured over ice and enjoyed on its own, or it can be mixed with other fruit juices for a tropical drink. Baby Jeruk Pacitans can also be used to flavor syrups, be squeezed into savory dishes for added sweetness, or mixed into porridges for infants. The fruit will keep 1-2 weeks when stored in a cool and dark place.
In Indonesia, the citrus market is one of the most economically important markets and fruit vendors may have many different citrus varieties labeled under the category jeruk. With the wide array of citrus available, local farmers are searching for new methods of income and are turning to the beverage business to sell freshly squeezed juice at markets. Indonesian locals enjoy consuming freshly squeezed beverages to help cool the body down on hot days, and Baby Jeruk Pacitans provide naturally sweet drinks without added preservatives.
Baby Jeruk Pacitans are believed to be native to Pacitan, which is a regency in East Java, but the exact origins are largely unknown. Today the sweet oranges are found at fresh markets in both whole and juiced form in Indonesia and in select regions throughout Southeast Asia.