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Satgudi oranges are medium to large fruits with an oval to globular shape. The skin is semi-glossy, waxy, and pitted with small oil glands, ripening from yellow-green to bright orange when mature. Satgudi oranges can also be identified by their thin, easy-to-peel skin that hugs the inner sections of flesh, often referred to as being “tight-skinned.” Underneath the surface, the flesh is juicy, dense, and orange, divided into 10-12 segments with a moderate amount of cream-colored seeds. Satgudi oranges have a bright, aromatic scent with low acidity, creating a sweet, subtly tart flavor.
Satgudi oranges are available in the late fall through early spring in India.
Satgudi oranges, botanically classified as Citrus sinensis, are one of the three main varieties of sweet oranges grown in India. Oranges are the third most cultivated fruit in India, falling just behind mangos and bananas, and when in season, the brightly colored fruits can be found in large, decorative piles at vendors along street corners, in fresh markets, and roadside stands. Satgudi oranges are an early to mid-season variety highly favored for their sweet flavor, high yields, and adaptability. The oranges are also known as Sathgudi in local markets and are the most cultivated variety in Andhra Pradesh for commercial use.
Satgudi oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help strengthen the immune system and promote tissue growth. The oranges also contain some iron, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. In Ayurveda, an ancient medicinal method still practiced in India, oranges are believed to detox the body and stimulate digestion. They are also considered a nausea reliever and immunity booster.
Satgudi oranges are best suited for raw applications as their sweet, juicy nature is showcased when consumed fresh, out-of-hand. The oranges can be peeled, sectioned, and eaten as a snack, or they can be sprinkled with salt and pepper for added flavor. The flesh can also be juiced and used to flavor baked goods, icings, sorbets, salad dressings, and curries, or the juice can be used as a marinade for poultry and tofu. In India, Satgudi oranges are most popularly blended into juices and smoothies with other tropical fruits such as pineapples, sweet limes, bananas, and mangos. Satgudi orange juice can also be frozen into ice cubes and used in flavored waters or lemonades. Beyond the flesh, the peel can be cooked in sugar water and candied for a sweet, chewy dessert. Satgudi oranges pair well with herbs such as mint, rosemary, basil, fennel, and cilantro, nuts such as almonds, peanuts, cashews, and pistachios, fruits such as strawberries, passion fruits, papayas, and kiwis, vanilla, agave, and ginger. Whole Satgudi oranges will keep 1-2 months when stored in the refrigerator.
Nagpur, known as the “Orange City of India,” is home to the World Orange Festival, a four-day event celebrating India’s third-largest commercial crop. The annual festival was first held in 2017 and was created to celebrate the many different varieties of oranges grown by local farmers throughout India, including Satgudi oranges. The event also connects farmers with contacts in other aspects of the agricultural industry, such as exports, transport, and marketing. During the festival, visitors can attend farming lectures, participate in various competitions, view art installations, sample a wide array of orange varieties, and attend concerts and live entertainment in the evenings. There are also live cooking demonstrations highlighting the use of oranges in Indian cuisine. Orange kesari, a sweet dessert made from oranges, ghee, sugar, semolina, and saffron, was a favorite dish showcased at the festival.
Satgudi oranges are native to Andhra Pradesh, a region in Southeastern India located on the Bay of Bengal and have been cultivated since ancient times. The genetic parentage of the variety is unknown, but Satgudi oranges are believed to have been named after the village Sathgur in India and are primarily cultivated in subtropical to dry regions. Today Satgudi oranges are still grown in Andhra Pradesh and are sold through local markets across India.