A Blood Orange is a hesperidia (a thick rind) fruit that contains water-soluble pigments called anthocyanins. With a certain ph and plunging temperatures at night, the inside of the flesh of an orange can turn a dark maroon color that some have described to be the color of blood. The southern Mediterranean region, especially Italy, Sicily, Malta and Spain, has the right conditions, and blood oranges have been cultivated there since the 1700’s. They have also been successfully grown on other continents along the same latitude as southern Italy, including in both Texas and California in the North American country of the United States.
Web-search stories about how folks with orange groves have been horrified to discover the blood orange flesh when their tree (s) had only ever produced an orange-colored inside before. In older times, the owner feared sabotage by an unpleasant neighbor or sorcery afoot in their orange orchard. But what about the taste? The discoloration suggests a different taste, so people expect that, and there may be some truth in it: sweeter, more tart, or juicier.
The Blood Orange appeals to many who want to have exotic possessions, experiences, and (in this instance) food. Outwardly, the fruit appears like other oranges, but when one is opened, a reaction is demanded for someone who lives outside of regions in which they are grown and eaten, to have and to publicly eat one. The flavor seems more exquisite just because of the uninformed public reaction to the presence of the Blood Orange and if the eater of it displays an ambivalent attitude. “What, you don’t know what this is? You should travel more (like I do).”
Can it be that the unusual appearance of the Blood Orange can give the eater an opportunity to make a statement about him or herself? Why be vain about the unusual appearance inside this fruit? Explain it; share it; teach its history. Perhaps, for you, it will taste sweeter because you brought understanding about it to others in this world. You could go further, and tell your audience that the Blood Orange, a thing of this world, was made by one who cares for them and would welcome contact from them.