oranges are believed to have originated in Sicily
sometime between the 17th and early 20th century. No one is sure where the red came from in these fruits, and it's generally chalked up to just a random mutation
that sprang from sweet "dessert" orange
s that were imported in the 14th century. Sicilian blood oranges are still regarded as the best
in the world, but blood ornages have since been cultivated in Spain
, and California
The red color, which blushes or bruises on the skin and marbles in much deeper shades irregularly through the meat of the fruit, is caused by anthocyanin, which causes red and orange shades in fall leaves and is also present in some other vivid red fruits. Apparently, this color on the fruit is affected, among other things, by the climate. If cold nights and warm, bright days are not present the red color may not develop on the fruit, although the taste is not affected much. As for the taste, it's far sweeter than most oranges and many people say it has a berry--raspberry or strawberry--overtone to the normal citrus taste.