Blood oranges are a natural mutation of sweet oranges, colored by the presence of anthocyanins, the chemical compound that gives fruits and vegetables like cherries, pomegranates, and red leaf varieties their color. The degree of the color of the rind and flesh of the fruit varies season to season.
Blood oranges have a unique flavor that has been described as having a hint of raspberry or grape. Their dramatic appearance makes them great for desserts and as flavor for savory main dishes, but they are also great eating oranges.
While you can peel and eat the segments of these oranges like you would a navel orange, slicing is often a better option as they can be tougher to peel than a regular orange. You can also juice these oranges. We’d recommend drinking the juice the same day you make it.
Store your blood oranges the same way you would Navels or Valencias, on a cool counter top for a week, or in the fridge for 6 weeks or more.
Your citrus farmer Cliff McFarlin grows the three most popular varieties of blood oranges on his ranch in the foothills of the Sierras: the tart, dark-red Moro, the sweet and flavorful Tarocco, and the egg-shaped Sanguinelli.