The Valencia orange is one of the sweetest oranges that exists. Countries all over the world grow these oranges, but Spain is the biggest orange producer in Europe. In fact, you may even think you’re seeing Valencia oranges growing on city streets in Spain! The orange trees in the city don’t produce Valencia oranges, however. These trees produce decorative oranges that are basically inedible. Try looking in a Spanish market instead and keep reading for more information on the Valencia orange.
History of the Valencia Orange
The region of Valencia has had orange groves for centuries. However, the Valencia orange variety does not come from Valencia. It was actually created in California by an American-born agronomist in the 1800s. He named it after Valencia, Spain because the area famously produced sweet oranges. In fact, Spain is the biggest producer of citrus for fresh consumption in the world.
Fresh oranges in Spain inspired Spanish food as well. Find some of the best ways to use Valencia oranges below.
Things to Make with Valencia Oranges
If you’re looking for ideas for recipes with Valencia oranges, we’ve made a list just for you! Of course, the most popular usage of Valencia oranges is orange juice. The juice from these oranges is the most popular orange juice in the world. Valencia orange juice may be the most common use of the fruit but there are plenty more ideas on how to use them!
- Agua de Valencia: The translation of this cocktail is “water of Valencia,” though there’s no water added! Fresh-squeezed orange juice, cava, sugar and other light spirits (vodka and gin) compose this drink. Order it by the jarra or “pitcher” at a tapas bar in Valencia for authenticity.
- Sangria: Fresh oranges are always added to Spanish sangria! Enjoy Spain’s national beverage.
- Spanish baked goods: There are many Spanish recipes for cakes, muffins and baked goods that use agua de azahar or “orange blossom water.” This orangey ingredient is essential for the Spanish orange cake, roscón de reyes.
- Naranjas a la canela: Enjoy the Valencia orange in a nearly-natural state. Cut a few slices and pour a light syrup made from orange liqueur, lemon juice, and sugar across the slices. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over top and enjoy this simple Spanish dessert.