Flavius Stan’s essay The Night of Oranges takes place in Romania after the fall of the Communist Government.
In the story, many Romanian children had never seen or eaten an orange, and when a big brother has the chance to gift his little brother an orange, he stands for hours in a long line using his movie money to buy the oranges.
Can you imagine living at a time when an orange is something special and of great value?
In America, oranges are very commonplace and often taken for granted, but that was not always true. If you were really good, Santa would leave a real treat, a prized orange in your Christmas stocking. Today the wholesome orange has been replaced by the chocolate orange rendition.
Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. Himalayan crystal salt or natural sea salt
A dash of black pepper
2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbs. parsley
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 head lettuce
1/2 cup nut mayo
Makes 4 servings
Peel and thinly slice the cucumber and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Peel and section the orange into its parts. Chop the 1/2 red bell pepper and place in a bowl with the orange sections and cucumber slices, gently toss with parsley, thyme and other seasonings. Add the nut mayo and mix. Wash and tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces and place on plates. Place the orange and cucumber mix on top of the lettuce and serve.
2 cups cashews
3 Tbs. onion powder
1/2 cup cold pressed olive oil
3/4 cup water
1-2 Tbs. Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
Place the cashews into a blender. Add the olive oil, onion powder, salt and lemon juice. Blend until creamy slowly adding enough water until a creamy consistency is achieved.
Varieties of the orange date back about seven thousand years to India.
They were highly valued by Chinese nobility in the first century, and it is believed that was the beginning of China’s orange orchards.
When the Roman Empire elite tasted oranges in the first century, they began developing orchards in North Africa. These orchards lasted until the Islamic Caliphate dominated North Africa in the seventh century.
In the sixteenth century, Portuguese traders brought oranges to Europe.
In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought orange seeds to the New World where he planted them and started an orange orchard in Haiti.
Oranges made their way into Florida with Spanish explorers after plundering South America in the mid 1500’s.
The orange came to California in 1856 when Judge Joseph Lewis bought three orange seedlings. One of the original trees is still producing fruit today.
There are both sweet and sour varieties of oranges.
The most common sweet oranges are Valencia, Navel and Blood oranges.
Valencia oranges have smooth skins, are widely available March through June and make up about half of the orange crop.
Navel oranges are thick skinned and have a “belly-button” shape on the blossom end. They are seedless and their season is November through April.
Blood oranges are given the name for the red color of the orange’s flesh. These are mainly imported from Mediterranean counties, and their season is March through May.
Places like Florida, which have warm days and nights, can produce fully ripe oranges that may still have green tint on the skin.
The color of the orange depends on where it is grown.
An orange left on a tree will go through the process of re-greening. Warm temperatures cause the chlorophyll pigment to go back into the skin giving it a greenish tint.
Oranges are high in vitamins C and B1, beta-carotene, folic acid, calcium, potassium and pectin. Research has found that the essential oil limonene, found in oranges, could shrink tumors.
Not only do oranges contain almost 100 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C, they have flavonoids that are required for the body. The orange has long been used to combat colds and flu.
The orange has historically been used in treatment of scurvy, as a circulatory stimulant and a cardiac and immune tonic. The orange zest or peel has been used historically as a digestive aid.
Pesticide residues are frequently found on oranges and are often waxed when sold in stores. For this reason it is recommended that organic oranges be used especially if using the zest.