Available year round though winter is high season for sweet, juicy oranges it is often easier to reach for a loose-skinned-easy-to-peel seedless Clementine or Satsuma, forgetting about the rich full-flavoured bounty from their deliciously juicy cousins. Oranges fall into two categories; the original, bitter variety such as Seville that’s used to make marmalade and the sweet fruit that includes a range of varieties such as the seedless Jaffa and Navel and the summertime, thin skinned Valencia. Each variety is prized for their own unique qualities and I couldn’t resist choosing a selection from my local market, though on a windy, damp winters morning it was the prospect of bringing warm sunny sweetness into my day with the Sicilian orange that still had its waxy green leaves intact.

Their French name, Orange-Pamplemousse succinctly describes the sweet yet tangy flavour of the Cara Cara, a type of navel orange that is available December – April. Its pretty salmon-pink flesh and low acidity sweetness makes the flesh a perfect addition to salads such as Fennel, Orange and Black Olive and the juice easily replaces vinegar in a vinaigrette dressing.

The colour of blood oranges is due to the naturally occurring pigment, anthocyanin that develops when the fruit is exposed to nighttime chills and warm, sunny days. Available January to mid-April these flavoursome, thin skinned oranges show a blush of red over their skin but it is the dramatic ruby colour that’s visible between the segments that is the prize. Eat fresh or include in salads and sauces to appreciate both colour and their intense fruity flavour.

Packed with Vitamin C and immune-system-boosting antioxidents, an orange a day will certainly help keep the doctor away…