Sunday, November 13, 2005

Florida Food: Satsuma vs. Orange












Florida citrus is better than citrus from anywhere else. Oh sure, western oranges from CA or AZ are pretty with their bright orange, unblemished skin, but we don't eat orange peels now do we?

Those pretty western oranges have mighty thick skins. I always assume that is an advantage in an arid climate. Our FL oranges are not as pretty. They are ripe long before the skin changes color and they usually have blemishes on their greenish peels. Again, the peel is not the main attraction here.

These two fruits came from my Dad's backyard citrus orchard in St. Augustine. The fruit on the left is a Satsuma. This is tree candy. Sweet, sweet, sweet, and the peel practically jumps off.

The fruit on the right is a Parson Brown orange. The skin hugs the fruit pretty tightly, and the flavor is not as sweet, but they make wonderful juice.

Dad's trees are so laden with fruit that he has set up bracing boards to prop up the branches. He has grown citrus for about 50 years and he does it at the northern extreme for most varieties. During hard freezes, he keeps kerosene "flambos" burning under his trees and hopes for the best. Usually the trees survive.

If you live up north, you know there are a zillion varieties of apples. The same is true for citrus, but here in North Florida we really can only rely on a few cold hardy varieties for our backyard orchards.

After the picture, I ate both of these. Posted by Picasa

8 comments:

Rexroth's Daughter said...

FC-- I starting thinking I didn't like oranges anymore, after eating only what the stores provided. I stopped buying oranges years ago. Then when the pirate and I were renting a place in Santa Cruz after we had sold our house, but hadn't moved up to Washington yet, there was an orange tree in the yard. OMG. The homegrown fruit from that tree, which had not been tended to or treated kindly by renters for years, produced fruit that rekindled a love affair with the orange. I can't even begin to imagine how delicious those oranges and satsumas are there. You are a lucky man!

pablo said...

But doncha think he should share with the rest of us?

swamp4me said...

Better not let my dog see that picture...she loves oranges and grapefruit. Perhaps she is a reincarnated Floridian :)

Floridacracker said...

RD,
The fresher the better. Reverse envy for you and the pirate living in sweet cherry country. I can eat my weight in those, but they don't grow here.

Pablo,
All it takes is a snail mail address for a sample.

Swamp,
I've seen dogs eat weird...even horrid things, but none of mine have ever gone for citrus. You have a special dog.

rick said...

Satsumas are the best the skin comes off so easy usually in 1 or 2 pieces and the reward inside is so so sweet.Dads tree is always loaded and we get plenty between Thanksgiving and Christmas.Although your dads seem to always be loaded with more than others.But then again uncle Art could plant concrete and it would grow!

Deb said...

Oranges, and orange juice, are one of the few foods we can't grow around here that I still can't live without. And the one thing I can't stand is buying some oranges from the store, only to have them turn out dry and pulpy on the inside. Tell me these are the juiciest oranges ever grown...:)

Floridacracker said...

Rick,
He would love that compliment, especially since it's true.

Deb,
You definitely need a napkin when you're done.

Rebel POW said...

It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes baked in 1/2 Parson Brown shells...