Oranges

orangesI love a good orange.

Usually this space is reserved for talking about writing, or books, or writers, or games. But today I’m kvetching about oranges.

A couple of years ago I posted with delight that we’d finally found a good source for local oranges. They were sweet and flavorful and, darn it, tasted like oranges. Alas, that brand of organic oranges isn’t carried by the local markets anymore, and all other brands are either sour or simply tasteless. Plus they have really tough texture, which is a by-product, I assume, of some breeding program to make them more resilient. Now chewy AND tasteless!

People must be buying these damned awful things or the markets wouldn’t carry them — but who enjoys them?

hulk driveAnd what’s up with orange juice? I’ve tried every brand carried by the local markets and they range from bad to terrible. I just don’t understand. We claim to be the greatest country in the world, yet we can’t figure out a way to get decent oranges and orange juice into the web of commerce?

When I was in Paris last year nearly every street side market could get you fresh squeezed orange juice and it was always fantastic. I don’t speak French, so I won’t be moving to France, but I want THAT orange juice, and I want THOSE oranges. Heck, if I had access to those oranges, I’d squeeze them myself!

The weirdest damned thing of all is that when I was a child, those tasty oranges were the ones that Mom brought home from the grocer in Indiana, and that I devoured. If we could get good oranges in the 1970s why can’t we get them now? Grr. Hulk Smash! I’m tired of spending money on a sack of oranges only to find them terrible! I think I’m going to have to swear off of them again for a few years. I might as well be setting money on fire.

4 Comments on “Oranges

  1. This doesn’t help with your quest to find a good orange, but John McPhee’s book “Oranges” is a fascinating look at the history of the orange. It’s a little old (1967), but the history doesn’t change.

    • Thanks, Rich — much as I enjoy a good orange, I should probably check that out.

  2. Supermarkets here in Germany always tend to have only a single type of oranges. Those awful seedless ones. Not having seeds is their own and only, and in my opinion very small upside they have. Everything else about them is terrible. They taste bad, are hard to peel, and fall apart when you try to separate the pieces. And there is no way to improve them because being seedless they are all clones of the same mutant tree.
    And people buy them. Because you can’t get any other oranges than these.

    Seeds are a very small price for having oranges that are edible and tasty.

    • Agreed. We’ve had similar oranges around here. Someone’s bred them to be durable so they can be transported further, and fewer seeds, which will make them attractive to consumers… except somewhere along the way they forgot to remember to keep them tasty.

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