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Orange (fruit)

An orange is the fruit of an orange tree, of the genus Citrus, especially Citrus sinensis and Citrus aurantium.

Larger oranges and orange juice image Larger ambersweet oranges image

Oranges are orange in color. The color is named for the fruit.

The fruit originated in India and was called na rangi in Sanskrit. The na rangi or naranja was translated as "norange", and in English usage a norange was back-formed into the more acceptable an orange. The same thing happened in French and Italian, but in Spanish it is still naranja.

The orange has a sweet-sour taste and is commonly peeled and eaten fresh, or squeezed for its juice. It has a thick bitter rind that is usually discarded, but can be used in cooking. The outer-most layer of the rind is called orange zest, and it has a similar flavor to the inner part of the orange. The white part of the rind is almost always discarded.

Navel oranges are famous for being seedless and juicy. They are named after a secondary fruit at the apex of the fruit which looks like the human navel. They are almost always eaten fresh, rather than being used for juice.

The Valencia or Murcia orange is one of the sweet oranges used for juice extraction. It is a late-season fruit which is harvested between March and June. It is a popular variety of orange when the navel oranges are out of season.

Orange cultivation is a major business, and an important part of the economies of (among others) the US states of Florida and California, many Mediterranean countries, South Africa, and the 'Riverina' district around the Murray River in Australia. Orange juice is one of the commodities traded on the New York commodities market. Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice in the world, followed by Florida.

Orange oil (produced by pressing the peel) is used in surface conditioning of wood furniture, and (along with other citrus oils) in grease removal and as a hand-cleansing agent. Orange spray (extracted from orange peels and sold commercially) is an extremely efficient cleaning agent which is environmentally friendly and non-toxic.

Orange blossom is traditionally associated with good fortune, and it was popular in bridal bouquets[?] and headwreaths[?] for weddings for some time (period of history? more details?). The petals of orange blossom can also be made into a delicately citrus-scented version of rosewater.

See also: Tangerine, Mandarin Orange[?], Kumquat; orangewater[?]

External links

  • From norange to orange (http://www.css.cornell.edu/ecf3/Web/AF/Courses/SCAS314/Diversity_Domestication/tsld045.htm)

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