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Oranges – “Orange Sành, Orange Xoàn and Orange Mật”

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In the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, there are three types of oranges: “Orange Sành, Orange Xoàn and Orange Mật”. “Orange Sành” has a flat round shape, dark yellow color, watery fruit, sour and sweet taste. “Orange Xoàn” has yellow inner flesh, sweet taste and gentle scent. “Orange Mật” has large fruit, green skin, yellow flesh and especially seedless, sweet, not sour.

Oranges, whose flavor may vary from sweet to sour, are commonly peeled and eaten fresh or squeezed for juice. The thick bitter rind is usually discarded, but can be processed into animal feed by desiccation, using pressure and heat. It also is used in certain recipes as a food flavoring or garnish.

Although not as juicy or tasty as the flesh, orange peel is edible and has significant contents of vitamin C, dietary fiber, total polyphenols, carotenoids, limonene and dietary minerals, such as potassium and magnesium.

Orange juice is obtained by squeezing the fruit on a special tool (a juicer or squeezer) and collecting the juice in a tray underneath. This can be made at home or, on a much larger scale, industrially.

Sweet orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry produced by pressing the peel. It is used for flavoring food and drinks and also in the perfume industry and aromatherapy for its fragrance. Sweet orange oil consists of approximately 90% D-limonene, a solvent used in various household chemicals, such as wood conditioners for furniture and—along with other citrus oils—detergents and hand cleansers. It is an efficient cleaning agent with a pleasant smell, promoted for being environmentally friendly and therefore, preferable to petrochemicals. D-limonene is, however, classified as irritating to the skin and as very toxic to aquatic life in different countries.

With the delicious, sweet and a hint of sour flavors from oranges, the chef can creatively process many craving yet exotic dishes that are famous for tourists: ranging from drinks such as smoothies, juices, cocktails or desserts like ice cream, jam, candy to sauce for savory dishes.

Growing Orange is a form of farming and accounted for a significant part of Vietnam’s agricultural economy. Orange gardens are planted in many regions of the country, but only a few areas have the best yield and quality, soils as well as climate conditions.

Among all the citrus fruits, oranges, like the bright color of its name which reminds you of a hot summer day, rich in vitamin C and is a great solution for enhancing immunity, chasing the humidity away and cooling your body down. This refreshing and juicy fruit is also very familiar in Vietnamese culture and is a famous fruit icon, loved by tourists if they have a chance to try this sweet and sour Vietnamese fruit.