Blood Oranges History

The Blood Orange

Along the slopes of the Mount Etna Volcano, Sicilian farmers began growing sweet oranges over hundreds of years ago. These oranges were unique because the ecological balance of the coastal breezes, volcanic soil, and warm sun gave the fruit a vibrant red blush inside. Its premium flavor has made the blood orange a favorite of chefs around the world. The blood orange has been a staple of Italian life for centuries.

Three varieties of these lovely, seedless, red blush oranges grow near the Mount Etna Volcano: the Tarocco, the Sanguinello, and the Moro. The Tarocco is considered to be the best orange in Italy because of its large size, red blush, and very sweet juice. This rare variety is not commonly grown commercially in the United States due to the unique growing environment it requires.

For centuries, the Italian people have used Tarocco oranges to make Spremuta, or fresh-squeezed red orange juice. Following their tradition, we use this premium orange to produce our Italian Volcano® Orange Juice.


The Juice

Italian Volcano® Orange Juice is made from all three varieties of blood orange and it is an excellent source for vitamin C. Red blush varieties of oranges are the richest in vitamin C, with almost twice the levels of the average for navel oranges. The red pigments in the pulp contain flavonoids called anthocyanins, which are free radical scavengers and act as powerful anti-oxidants.