One of the first things you may notice when shopping for food in Andalucia is how fresh and affordable the fresh produce is. Oranges are a special treat with fresh crops supplying supermarkets and shops throughout the late fall, winter and early spring seasons. This is the perfect way to get your Vitamin C, fresh off the tree.
Notice when shopping, that not all oranges are created equal. If you want to eat fresh oranges in slices, in salads or in other recipes, look for “naranjas de mesa” (literally “table oranges”). This is where your grocer will place all the easy to peel, slice and eat varieties of oranges as they come into season.
If it’s fresh squeezed Andalucian orange juice you’re after, look for mesh bags labelled “zumo” (juice) as these will be the best varieties for juicing. You can combine this fresh orange juice with fresh pureed apples, bananas, papaya, mango, peaches and other fruits along with a good dose of yogurt to make wonderful, healthy fruit “smoothies” as well – great for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Do keep an eye on the ticket if you really want to invest in locally grown Andalucian oranges. Those grown in nearby Valencia are excellent too, but it’s nice to support our local industry. The best place to get locally grown oranges is at the municipal markets where fresh produce are brought in daily from the surrounding countryside. If you frequent back roads you may also pass homemade produce stands or even single sellers waiting by the road with sacks of fresh oranges. These have most likely not passed official controls and certification processes, so you can decide whether or not to take a chance on these products.