While the blood orange appears the same from the outside as other oranges in her family, the dark, maroon color of the flesh is very distinctive. The fruit is a natural mutation, grown along the Mediterranean coastline. This climate is needed for the anthocyanin, the pigment that gives the blood-red color to the flesh. While this pigment is familiar to many flowers and fruits like cherries and strawberries, it is uncommon in citrus fruits. Anthocyanin only develops when it is warm during the day while temperatures drop in the night, something the Mediterranean winter offers.
The Blood Oranges grow in the winter and early spring, making them harder to find and more expensive than its family members. The taste differentiates itself uniquely from other orange trees, blending perfectly with rum to enhance the citrus taste with a touch of raspberry aromas. Blood orange gives a natural sweet taste to the pink grapefruit, making additional sugars superfluous.
Fun fact: One of the three species of blood orange thanks its name to an Italian farmer that harvested the blood orange. He sliced the fruit and noticed the maroon colored flesh. In disbelief he screamed the word ‘Tarocco’, meaning liar in the local tongue.