29 Aug 2013

ORANGES AND ITS HISTORY

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

One day Mr. Pomelo and Mrs Mandarin married and the Orange was born and became a tree. In general, it is believed that sweet orange trees have originated in Southeast Asia, or southern China, and that they were first cultivated in China around 2500 BC.



This proves that even before Jesus Christ we had already products produced in China. Today we get them mostly in form of toys or textiles. 

In Europe, the orange was  introduced to Italy by the crusaders in the 11th century and were grown widely in the south for medicinal purposes, but the sweet orange was unknown until the late 15th century or the beginnings of the 16th century, when Italian and Portuguese merchants brought orange trees into the Mediterranean area. Shortly afterward, the sweet orange quickly was adopted as an edible fruit. It was considered a luxury item and wealthy people grew oranges in private conservatories, called orangeries. By 1646, the sweet orange was well known throughout Europe but only by the rich !

Spanish explorers introduced the sweet orange into the American continent.  Spanish missionaries brought orange trees to Arizona between 1707 and 1710 at least they did one healthy thing.

When Mr. G. and I compare our childhood, he in Italy had eaten oranges, figs, grapefruits, dates, pomegranates, etc, all things which I had never heard of as a child in Germany. I ate appels, pears, cherries, and berries.

I always remember the very first time I had eaten an orange. It was on a 6 December, at St.Nicholas when I found an orange together with sweets in my little boot I had put outside my room. I must have been 9 years old in 1952. It was something very special and hard to get in the after war times.

Of course that changed and from the 60th/70th on oranges became a common fruit just like an appel. Everybody today can afford to buy oranges. Even worse, Belgium's city Binche, (I wrote about it here ) is famous for its carnival where the "Gilles" march through the town with baskets of oranges.  .



These oranges are thrown to, and sometimes at, members of the crowd gathered to view the procession. The vigour and longevity of the orange-throwing event causes sometimes injuries, blue eyes and – some residents choose to seal windows so that they can't be broken. The oranges are considered good luck because they are a gift from the Gilles and it is an insult to throw them back.


16 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

I love oranges, but, like pineapple, they often make the back of my throat hurt.
Dick has an orange every morning. He saves the last bit (one half of one quarter) for Lindy, to get her Vitamin C.
Fortunately, when we travel, we don't expect our dog-sitters to feed her oranges and apples, so Lindy doesn't expect it there, either.
Interesting story today, Gattina.
K

diane b said...

Interesting story. Ever since we came to Australia in1949 oranges have been in our fruit bowl. Most of our citrus fruit comes from the Riverina district along the Murray River in Southern NSW on the border with Victoria. Due to cheap imports our growers have had to let the fruit fall and be bulldozed back into the ground.It is cheaper for them than getting their fruit to market and then selling it at a loss. It is a shame as I would much rather eat Australian fruit rather than imported.

Debra at HOMESPUN: http://www.thehomespun.com said...

Such an interesting and fun O Post! :)

Lola said...

Great *O*bservation - and w*O*nderful post!

PS You'll love Notting Hill Carnival!

acreativeharbor.com said...

Fun post and photos ~ for O ~ carol, xo

edenhills said...

This is quite an interesting history lesson. I do believe I would prefer not to visit for the festival and have an orange thrown at me, however.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Years ago I worked for a man who had an orange farm. I believe all of his oranges went into orange soda!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

I love oranges! Mostly I drink them as juice, but sometimes they appear in my fruit basket!
Very interesting post -- I got a history lesson! The Belgium carnival would be something to see! Those feather headdresses are amazing!

Jen said...

Lots of fun information here. I never knew there was so much to know about oranges. I cut one up for my lunch today. Just the sweet I needed.

fredamans said...

I had no idea oranges went back so far. Makes sense they'd here long before us though.....

Andrew said...

I was going to say something about oranges grown here in Australia, but Diane B has said it already. It is very sad.

Sandy Carlson said...

That sure is interesting.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Gosh, that parade sounds like something out of New Orleans. Once we visited there on St Patrick's Day and from the parade floats they threw whole cabbages and potatoes. Those could kill you!!! They are wild and crazy there...I should find my old pictures and do a post on that next March!

I love oranges...and am glad they are always there and more or less affordable.

VBR said...

thanks for sharing the memories and the customs with us. it is wonderful to be able to learn about new things.

Annesphamily said...

I always learn something new from you! I love oranges and I am surprised the mandarin oranges only come from China. I eat more oranges in the summer as they are sweeter and we always had an orange in your bowl for the Feast of St. Nicholas (my youngest sons namesake). I carried that tradition to my own children when they were younger. Lovely share. Great photos too! Hugs Anne

Jenny said...

The orange-throwing event sounds out of the ordinary to me but it is very interesting...

It is strange how ordinary, everyday items now were considered a special treat not long ago...

Thank you for linking to the letter "O".

Outstanding job!

A+