Few people know that the orange actually came from China! So it follows that the Chinese named this wonderful fruit. It was first mentioned in Chinese medical books thousands of years ago.
But this delicious fruit, with its high vitamin C content, has been eaten and made into juice only in recent centuries.Before the year 1500, only bitter oranges were grown and were primarily used for seasoning meat. In 1635, a very sweet orange was introduced in China, and it was an immediate success.
The Spanish and Portuguese, however, were the ones who introduced the orange to America.
When ships started coming to America in the 1500s, they were required to carry 100 seeds aboard. But they found that the seeds dried easily on the long voyage, so they began carrying small trees instead.
The orange is indeed a delicious, interesting and nutritious fruit. People in the United States eat more oranges than any other fruit, and nearly a third of the world's oranges are produced and consumed in the United States.
The bulk of the orange crop is processed into juice. In fact, the residue that is left at the processing plants after orange juice is prepared is a million-dollar business. The pulp, the seeds and rind are made into many products, such as varnishes and paints, perfumes, cake mixes, candies and soft drinks.
A synthetic spearmint oil is made from peel oil; Coca-Cola is one of the largest users of it. More than 100 million pounds of unsaturated peel oil is sold each year for cooking. Orange seed oil tastes similar to butter.
Dried orange sacs mixed with water make a thick substance used to fight forest fires.
Orange wood is very tough and has been used by archers for many years. Its fine ingrain is excellent for furniture, too.
The color of an orange has nothing to do with its ripeness. It can be emerald green and be as sweet and juicy as it will ever be. In Thailand, where it never gets cold, the oranges are always eaten green. The navel orange originally came from Brazil.