What’s so special about Valencia’s oranges?

Valencia City

The Spanish phrase mi media naranja when translated literally means “my half orange”. Yet, in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, it has taken on the meaning of “my better half”. Even till this day, flowers from Valencia’s orange trees are a symbol of love.

Originally coined by the Greek philosopher-playwright Plato, this phrase has become apt over time as the world began to fall in love with Spain’s oranges – particularly the sweet ones grown along the coastal regions of Valencia. 

However, many tend to confuse Valencia’s oranges with the Valencia Orange. So what’s the difference? Well, the Valencia Orange is a hybrid species of orange that was cultivated in America during the 19th century. On the other hand, Valencia’s oranges are basically all oranges that are grown in Valencia, comprising many different species of oranges – blood oranges, navel oranges, you name it.

The specialty of Valencia’s oranges lies in their intense flavour, which is all thanks to the geographic location of Valencia’s orange orchards. With fertile soil, breezy Mediterranean climate and good irrigation, it is clear why Valencia has been dubbed “The Orchard of Spain”. 

Valencia’s oranges are said to be the best in the world for their excellent juiciness and high contents of sugar with slight acidity – ideal for preparing that perfect glass of orange juice on a hot day.

Today, these oranges have become a staple in the Mediterranean diet and can be incorporated into just about any dish – from the classic Spanish cocktail “Agua de Valencia”, to nougats and even chickpea stew.
Now that you know the tale behind the famed orange of Valencia, don’t forget to experience its rich flavour yourself (or maybe even with your media naranja).

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