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The Spanish Legacy of Fruit: The Moors and The Orange

Earlier civilisations than the Moors had seen the introduction of the orange to Spain and the cultivation of them had already started in many areas of Asia. However, when the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, the orange became almost non-existent in Europe and it was not until several centuries later that the Moors reintroduced it after their conquest of the Visigoths in Spain.

Conserves with delicious orange and other flavours
The bitter orange the Moors introduced was not edible as a whole fruit. However, it was still highly prized for its medicinal benefits and was of huge significance and symbolic importance in religion and the blessings of newly married couples. Nowadays, this same orange variety, the Seville is used to make marmalade which is still produced by a small number of artisans in Spain.
The sweet variety of orange did not come into existence until much later and was eventually introduced by the second excursion of Christopher Columbus to the New World. Spain's most popular varieties are the Sanguin – the blood orange and the other is one of the most famous varieties commonly used to make juice in Florida, California and Brazil which is known as the estimable Valencia.

For maximum health benefits, the orange is best eaten as a whole fruit. Though, the most common intake of this special fruit is consumed through the drinking of its juice. It is also used to flavour other drinks such as alcohol, food and other products. Used regularly, the vitamin C and other helpful properties can help to support the body's natural defences against diseases such as Parkinson's and can help to prevent incitement towards asthmaarthritis and cancer.

Azahar Perfume is made with orange blossoms blessed by its coastal province.
Alike the olive, the orange has also nurtured a culture. However, unlike the olive tree, the sweet orange trees that are grown to supply markets globally are not so robust and need great care to produce good fruit. Most sweet orange trees are grown from seedlings into rootstock and grafted onto a piece of budwood (which determines the variety) from an established tree. They also need to be protected from adverse weather conditions and there are several established methods that fruit gardeners use to maintain the quality as well as the yield that a tree produces.

Besides the fruit: the blossom and the wood of the orange tree are also used to make many different types of products. Hives are placed in citrus groves to produce a distinctive variety of honey. Orange blossom is used to make perfume and these are also dried to make tea in Spain. The wood of the orange is used to make cuticle pushers (a manicurist's tool for hand grooming) and is popular for burning as a fuel to flavour delicate meats such as fish and chicken. The waste such as discarded rind is used by gardeners as a slug repellent.

Please note except for the pictures enclosed which are linked to La Tienda; this particular article uses words linked to other articles, blogs or hubs that are mainly found on HubPages - which is a site for those who want to read other peoples' work or contribute their own.

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