When I was was maybe 7 or 8, my parents spent a week in Spain. When the came back, they brought us a doll (I always got a doll from their travels) and my sister got some money (she always wanted coins from different countries), but what I remember most is that they brought me a blood orange. Did they bring my sister one? Almost definitely. Was it definitely a little bit illegal to bring fruit from Spain to Canada? I think we can say it was with some assurance.
I will never forget cutting into this orange and seeing the deep red flesh come to the surface. I’m sure it was a certain part of cool factor from the orange being a different color, but this orange tasted like nothing I’d ever had before. It was the first moment I think I understood why people got so excited about food. Looking back on it now, I think that’s the moment when eating local food became important to me, although of course that’s only a little bit true.
Every year when my local markets are full of blood oranges all I think of is that moment of wonder when I ate my first blood orange – that incredulity that you eat such a thing, that my mom had grabbed it from a tree that morning when she was in Spain.
It’s a fleeting season, so you need to move quickly. You need to get your fill. I roast my chickens with them, grill them with carrots and bake them into cakes. But I’m happiest when their put into drinks.
Blood Orange Gin Fizz
- 2 oz blood orange juice
- 1 ½ oz gin
- Angostura bitters
- Soda water
This is the simplest thing. Just mix the juice and gin (or gin and juice, if you’re a Snoop fan), top with the soda and dash on bitters.