There are two main types of oranges: sweet oranges and bitter (Seville) oranges. The former can be thick- or thin- skinned, with or without seeds, and has sweet-tasting orange or red-flecked flesh. Bitter oranges have aromatic dimpled skin with very bitter pith and very sour, pale-orange flesh. They always contain seeds.
Navel, Valencia and blood oranges are the main types of sweet oranges. They are used in both sweet and savoury dishes, but where necessary add a little lemon juice or zest to strengthen their flavour.
Use sweet oranges in savoury salads minced with some of the following: bitter leaves, pomegranate seeds, feta, red onion and olives. Use their freshly squeezed juice in butter sauces or dressings.
Sweet oranges are widely used in sweet dishes - flavoured with caramel, cinnamon or orange flower water - or as a flavouring for chocolate or rhubarb. Finely grated or julienned orange zest adds a touch of bitterness to cakes and desserts.
Article by Sybil Kapoor
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