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Orange you glad they're Valencias: All you need to know about Valencia Oranges

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

As we at GENNY GRAHAM are not making marmalade, we use the staple variety Valencia orange to make our GENNY GRAHAM Orange Cumin Pepper Jelly. It is the most popular and most readily available summer orange as it is juicy, full of flavour and typically used for juicing! These oranges are a cultivar, or a species, that has been cultivated by a selection of its best qualities. In this case, the oranges were selected for juicing, and although they also have some seeds, they also make a delicious snack!

The particular name of this orange has been taken from the province of Valencia in Spain, but this variety was originally cultivated by William Wolfskill an American agronomist on his farm in Santa Ana, southern California in the mid 19th century! This orange has a good long season starting from February through to October and would be harvested between late May to June. They would be left to ripen on the tree since once picked, they will no longer ripen. Valencia oranges are grown plentifully in Spain, in fact, Spain is probably the most prolific producer of oranges in the world. Today, Valencia oranges are cultivated in Florida, Texas, Spain and even Brazil.

It takes 3-4 years for a Valencia tree to grow and mature enough to bear fruit and then a further eighteen months before the fruit is ready to be harvested. In a mature tree, after the orange tree blossoms, Valencia oranges take 12- 15 months to ripen. Orange trees only produce one crop of fruit per year. Thinking of this growth cycle allows us to treasure the formidable produce we often take for granted in the simple orange!

These oranges have many health benefits. It is well known that oranges are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that giving them their antioxidant properties. They are wonderful for your immune system and are well known to be a good “heart-healthy” food that can help reduce high blood pressure. They are full of fibre, some of which is pectin, a necessary ingredient in our pepper jellies! Although we do add additional apple pectin to support the set to our pepper jelly, the fibre content of the oranges themselves means that we use less additional pectin in our Orange and Cumin Pepper Jelly than some of our other flavours!

At GENNY GRAHAM we favour these oranges as they are both sweet and tangy. We use both the juice and the rind in our pepper jelly recipe to extract as much goodness and flavour of these luscious sweet oranges as possible! As you can see these oranges are an incredibly valuable resource that make our pepper jelly tasty and delicious and a 2 Star award winner of a Great Taste Award! These oranges add a character to our pepper jelly that pairs fantastically with an abundance of dishes and sauces, can be used as a dressing or simply to just as a side to your dinner!

Want to experience the taste of these delicious oranges in a meal but don’t know where to start? Why not try our customer recommended Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Orange Cumin Pepper Jelly recipe?! Thanks for checking in! Jenny x Published 7th October 2021

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