Oranges

Oranges

  • Mișcă Alexandra

  • Clasa a 12-a B

  • Colegiul Național “Mircea cel Bătrân

General details

The orange tree is part of the Citrus genre, which is part of the Rutaceae family. It is a tree which can reach 13 meters, its treetop is big, round or in the shape of a pyramid, with oval leaves with straight borders and its branches can have thorns of 10 cm. Its flowers are white and they have a strong smell which is why they can be found in bouquets. Its fruit is called “orange”.

Recently it has been discovered that even though the orange tree was considered species of Citris genre, it is actually and hybrid produced by Pomelo (Citrus maxima), mandarin (Citrus reticulata) and Chitra (Citrus medica) and its scientific name is Citrus sinensis. The old name, which did not contain the mention that it is an hybrid, is still used.

Origins and localization

The orange tree has its origins in India, Pakistan, Vietnam, the south-east part of China and it was brought by the Arabic people in occident, because from India it reached Arabia where it was called “naranj” and then it came to the south of France where is was named “naurange”. Then in English and French it turned into “orange”. Though, not all the languages use this name, in Danish it is called “sinaasappel” which means „chinese apple”.

A lot of countries are growing this fruit: United States (in Florida and California), most of the Mediterranean countries, Brazil, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba, Pakistan, China, India, Iran, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa. It appears generally in humid areas. If the temperatures are under 0 °C, the fruit and its quality are really affected. It is cultivated as tree and as decorative tree.

Legends, symbols and superstitions

  • It is believed that the orange is „the golden apple” from the greek mythology. The golden apple is the fruit receveid by Jupiter from Juno in their wedding day.

  • It symbolises inocence and fertility in an greek legend. Atlanta, the fastest runner among the living ones, promised that she would marry someone who was capable of beating her in an atlethic competition. However, anyone who was invinced was fated to die. Aphrodite, the goddes of love, decided to help Milanion, a boy who was in love with Atlanta, by giving him oranges. Milanion threw away the fruits during the competition with Atlanta and because she hadn’t seen those kinds of fruits before she was distracted by them and Milanion won the race. Milanion married Atlanta and she became a good housewife and mother and that is why the orange is considered symbol for innocence and fertility.

  • The Chinese people considered the orange a lucky fruit, because even its name means prosperity in Chinese.

  • >The orange flowers used for a bridal hairstyle are a symbol for her virginity, while used for her bouquet bring luck.

  • >Some kids are taught that if they swallow a pip of the orange an orange tree is going to grow from their stomach.

Utilities in alternative medicine:

  • Orange flowers are good for our health because they stimulate the nervous system and for blood circulation.

  • The oranges have a good impact against cancer, cardiovascular problems, reducing the cholesterol, adjusting the blood pressure, maintaining the blood vessels and preventing heart diseases. Moreover, they prevent osteoporosis and they have a positive response against diabetes and multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer and Parkinson, but also in rheumatoid arthritis.

  • The treatment with orange peel made at home can help in treating acne.

Chemical composition

They represent a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B1 and B6, flavonoids, pectin and fibers, but also minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphor, magnesium and chopper. They protect us from antioxidants and essential acids used for cellular regeneration, but they do not absorb cholesterol or fats.

Recipe

Jam of peel of orange and candied peel of orange

4 oranges
400 gr of sugar

  • Peel off the orange in 4 or 6 pieces. Each part (without the white layer) is rolled and fixed with a toothpick.

  • The peels are put in a pot and boiled for 10 minutes. Then they are cooled in cold water and then boiled again for another 10 minutes. This step is repeated for 4 times. Now the white layer can be taken off completely.

  • The peels are weighed and the it is made an syrup of sugar (equal to the quantity of peels) and juice from the peeled oranges (equal to an half of the quantity of peels).

  • The peels with the syrup are added when the sugar is melted and then they are boiled for another 30 minutes.

  • They are cooled and then boiled again for another 30 minutes.

  • After that, they are put in a jar and covered with syrup and the jam is done. Other peels can be placed on a sheet and left for a day to get dry to obtain candied peels. With some sugar they can be stored in the fridge.

Personally…

It was a pleasure for me to look for information about one of my favorite fruits, which through its scent always reminds me of winter and Christmas.

Bibliography

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