here's how to enjoy it even in summer – Italian Cuisine

IS the fruit that holds the winter sun: Orange. Wonderful. Orange juice is a real panacea for which it is difficult to deprive oneself when these fruits are no longer in season, but summer orange juice is not a good idea! In addition to drinking them and eating them naked and raw, they are a fantastic ingredient to use in cooking, in sweet or savory preparations.

However, the warm season is upon us and while the lemons, allies of beauty, are still in full season for a few months, oranges are about to end. Don't panic! There are so many ways to keep a little orange flavor all year round.

First of all, let's learn about it late varieties. There are exquisite and homegrown ones – choosing Italian fruits is always a winner, and unfortunately with regard to citrus fruits are less and less those Italians on our tables. The variety Ovale Calabrese it is the latest of our local pulp-orange oranges, but unfortunately it is increasingly rare to find despite being excellent. Suitable for juices, it is sweet and has few seeds. He recognizes himself from his own fruits with the typical oval shape and the thin skin. Until the beginning of June.

There is the Valencia, the most cultivated variety in the world and very widespread also in our country. These oranges a blonde pulp lasts a long time and I'm ideal for juices because they are much more juicy than winter oranges. They are also much less acidic, therefore more digestible. There are various small producers, including organic ones, which they ship from the South, in particular from Sicily, directly to your home (or post office) with a total expense that is not increased at all. They are found starting from the month of April, they also ripen throughout the month of May and are available until late June.

But can orange juice be frozen? The answer is yes. Not only can it, but a scientific study of the University of Seville published less than a year ago, argues that freezing oranges can increase the absorption of their beneficial nutrients by our body. In particular it would increase the bioaccessibility of carotenoids, the antioxidants present in these citrus fruits, natural shields that protect us from cell damage and aging. Or better: in the fresh, non-frozen juice, this is present to a much greater extent because in the freezing process the carotenoids deteriorate. However, deteriorating, they break down into smaller particles that are more easily assimilated by the human organism. Result: according to this research, for us frozen orange juice has a greater benefit.

True or not, surely freezing the juice is not at all a bad idea and some benefit remains – in addition to the immense pleasure of a fresh and frozen orange juice in the middle of summer! The important is immediately freeze it as soon as it is pressed. This is essential. You can use the classic freezer bags and provide juice doses suitable to be defrosted from time to time.

Juices aside, we take advantage of the latest fruits to prepare jams, zest and preserves. There is of course the Orange jam homemade, that of the grandmother, a taste of refinement and unique goodness. To be used for example to embellish a sweet and simple Margherita cake. And then his greedy rum scented version, or the enriched and refined one from apples and peel.

And speaking of scorzette. From the orange peel you then get a real delight, also to be used in every season: the candied zest (they are fantastic for example to add to a nice fresh fruit salad). As we all know, there are also the chocolate zest, indeed: to the two chocolates!

Oranges can then be preserved in whole slices, to prepare delicious and genuine summer dishes such as bavette with orange fish. Dulcis in fundo, the spicy orange liqueur, which lasts over six months. So let's take advantage of the last oranges of the season !!!

Carola Traverso Saibante
May 2019


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