Know your Citrus

India grows several varieties of oranges, differentiated by their sweetness and exterior.  The two main varieties include:

Rhodes Red Valencia are also known as sweet oranges. The ‘Rhodes Red Valencia’ is a selection from a Valencia tree which bears large, dark-fleshed fruit. The oranges are round with thin, tight orange skin. The skin does not always turn color when ripe and may retain some green. The flesh is richly flavored, juicy, and nearly seedless and are eaten fresh or juiced. These oranges are grown in Pathankot in Punjab, which is home to organic citrus farms extending in 10 acres having 1100 plants with exotic varieties.

Malta is a blood orange cultivated in the hills of Uttarakhand in India, where it is used to make squash, sweets and other products. Maltas are thin skinned oranges which vary in sweetness, juicy and seedless.

Hamlins are thin, tight skinned oranges. The flesh is juicy, and seedless. The peels of Hamlins can also be used as zest or dried to make candy. These are grown in Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Andhra Pradesh.

Benefits of oranges:

Oranges are very high in vitamin C that strengthens blood vessel walls, promotes wound healing & iron absorption, known to protect against cell damage, heart attacks, strokes, and other diseases.
Oranges contain nutrients which are converted by the body into vitamin A, which is needed for growth and cell development, maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails as well as gums, glands, bones, and teeth.

Now that you know about the varieties and health benefits of oranges, here are some interesting facts that are sure to amaze you.

Interesting Orange Facts:

• Oranges are the largest citrus crop in the world.
• Orange is the world’s third favorite flavor after chocolate and vanilla.
• Marmalade is orange jam.
• There are now over 600 varieties of oranges worldwide.
• Over 2lakh tonnes of oranges are grown in India each year.

While oranges make for a delicious and refreshing quick bite, you can juice these for breakfast or make into a marmalade to accompany your toast.

Orange marmalade recipe:

All you need :

  • 3 oranges,
  • ½ cup water,
  • 1 cup of sugar


In a thick-bottomed pan, add the pulp of oranges, the zest and the rind slivers, along with 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and set to simmer. After 30 minutes of cooking on low heat, stir in a cup of sugar till it dissolves. Cook for 20mins till marmalade has thickened. Let it cool down, refrigerate.

Walk-in to Nature’s Basket stores and get the freshest varieties of oranges. To locate your nearest store click here.

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