O is for Orange.
If you want to know some trivia about me, the only way I can stand to ingest an orange is as an orange, i.e. the fruit. I despise orange-flavoured anything, be it cake or chocolate or milk. I can’t even stand drinking fresh orange juice.
I do like the colour orange though.
And Oranges by John McPhee is the most wonderful book about oranges and other citrus fruit.
It’s full of the most fascinating information you didn’t know you wanted to know about oranges. I still have not got over the fact that …
Citrus does not come true from seed. What this means is: If you plant an orange seed, a grapefruit might come up. If you plant a seed of that grapefruit, you might get a bitter lemon. To get oranges, specifically, you have to graft the orange to the rootstock of some other citrus tree. Sweet Florida oranges are grown primarily from bitter orange and sour lemon root.
When I was growing up, my mother used to buy green-skinned oranges and I wonder why I don’t see them anymore. Have we stopped importing them? I believe the variety we used to get was from Thailand. I preferred them to the Mandarins we eat during the Chinese new year, or the thick-skinned Californian variety that Malaysians tend to eat quartered, tearing the flesh off the skin with our teeth. Malaysians call these thick-skinned oranges Sunkist because this was the company Malaysia used to import them from. It’s like people (of a certain age?) calling all hot tubs Jacuzzis and all toothpastes Colgate.