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What Does Blood Orange Taste Like?

If you’ve never seen a blood orange, then you’re in for a treat. With their signature red look and sweet taste, blood oranges are a unique fruit and a rare find. What does blood orange taste like? This food guide will explore all the interesting facts about blood oranges.

sliced blood orange on the table.

What Is A Blood Orange?

Blood orange is an orange variety known for its dark red flesh. Blood oranges grow in warm climates and ripen during cold temperatures. The compound develops underneath the skin and continues to soak the flesh. Oranges can have red lines, streaks, or full-red flesh. 

This fruit is also known as raspberry orange and the red orange of Sicily. They have been growing since the 18th century. Blood oranges originated from the Mediterranean before settling in Italy. Producers plant the oranges during the spring and harvest them around wintertime. Most of the blood orange cultivation comes from Italy. However, they’re also grown in Texas and California from May to December.

Blood oranges have anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are natural pigmentations that are present in flowers and fruits. This compound is what gives red oranges their blood-like flesh. The colors may also vary from pink to deep red.

This citrus fruit has pitted skin. The skin is tough to peel. When it comes to flavor and texture, the blood orange taste is similar to raspberries.

Blood oranges have many culinary uses. In Italy, tart blood oranges are great for juices, jams, and marmalade.

Types of Blood Oranges

Blood oranges have at least 12 different types. These types include Maltese, Ruby Blood, and Delfino. Among these types, Maltese is the sweetest. 

However, there are three common types readily available in the market. These other blood orange varieties include.

Moro Oranges

Moro is the newest and most colorful among the blood orange types. This variety came around during the turn of the 19th century on the island of Sicily. Moro oranges have intense red flesh that seeps through the rind and gives it a slightly red skin.

Among the three common types, it has the strongest bitter taste. However, it has a more intense aroma and a sweeter flavor. Moro means “deep blood orange,” so this kind can have ruby, vermilion, or crimson-colored flesh.

Tarocco Oranges

Tarocco is a blood orange variety native to Italy. It’s believed that the name originated from a farmer’s shocked expression upon discovery. It’s one of the most popular orange varieties around the world.

Tarocco oranges are famous for their rich vitamin C content. It has the juiciest flesh and sweetest flavor among the types on this list. However, it’s only referred to as the “half-blood.” This is because it’s not as red as Moro or Sanguinello oranges.

Despite the color difference, Tarocco is still sought after in fresh markets. Aside from its delicious flavor, it’s seedless and easier to peel. At home, it’s a favorite Italian ingredient.

Sanguinello Oranges

Contrary to Moro and Tarocco, Sanguinello originated in Spain during the early 1920s. Sanguinello oranges, which means “full-blooded oranges” in Sicilian, are closer to Moro oranges. They have thin yet compact skin with a slightly reddish color. 

Although it’s not as red as Taracco, it has deep orange flesh. Sanguinello oranges have a strong and distinct sweet taste when you bite them. They also have fewer seeds, which makes them great for juices.

What Fruits Are Similar To Blood Orange?

There’s no need to worry if you don’t have blood oranges in your pantry. There are always many affordable alternatives to this citrus fruit. These options include navel oranges, mandarins, and tangerines.

You can also substitute regular oranges or even orange extract. If the choices are slim, it’s best to use raspberries or cranberries. Rest assured, you’ll still have the same tarty yet sweet flavors for your juice or dish.

Blood Oranges Nutrition

Fresh blood oranges have many health benefits. In fact, they are rich in vitamin C, fiber, folate, and antioxidants. There are many ways to add them to your diet.

  • Like many citrus fruits, blood oranges have tons of vitamin C. This vitamin is essential in maintaining your immune system.
  • Folate is also high in blood oranges. This nutrient is essential, especially for pregnant women.
  • Another nutrient benefit of blood oranges is their fiber content. These citrus fruits are low in calories yet high in fiber.
  • Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that blood oranges also have antioxidants.

Not only are blood oranges healthy, but they’re very delicious too. In the next section, you’ll learn about the different ways you can use these fruits in the kitchen.

How To Use Blood Oranges

The best thing about blood oranges is that they are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. You can use the fruit’s rind to its pulp, from juices to desserts. Here are some of the creative ways to add them to your recipes:


Fresh blood orange juice is the most common use for this citrus fruit. Simply cut the orange in half and squeeze the fruit to extract the juice. You can also use a juicer to quicken the process. Add a few ice cubes, and you’ve got a fresh glass of blood orange juice.

We suggest mixing the juice with sparkling water if you want to take it up a notch. Combining it with other citrus fruits like lemon can make for a fun mixed drink. Another fruit that pairs well with blood oranges is cranberries.

You can also use blood oranges for your breakfast smoothies. They also taste excellent with dairy. Or you can use plant-based milk like almond milk. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the fruit’s juices.


Blood oranges are a favorite ingredient when it comes to happy hour. They are a great addition to mimosas. To make a blood orange mimosa, combine the citrus fruit with sparkling wine.

Another way to liven up the table is by adding it to your margarita mix. Not only will it taste delicious, but the orange’s red look will give it an excellent visual effect. The tart and sweet flavors will complement perfectly with the salted rim on the glass.


Like other citrus fruits, bloody oranges taste delicious as jams or marmalades. You can preserve them in mason jars and use them as spreads for buttered toast. You can also infuse sauces with blood orange.

A popular combo is cranberry sauce with blood orange zest. This can be a new addition to your Thanksgiving dinner. You can also cook a simple blood orange sauce. To do this, you only need to mix blood orange juice with agave and leave it on for at least 30 minutes.

This blood orange sauce is perfect for dripping over pancakes or waffles. It can also be a handy alternative to maple syrup. You can also use it for filling crepes.


One of the most popular dishes in Sicily is the Sicilian Winter Salad. It’s a fresh salad consisting of sliced blood oranges, red onions, and olives, dressed with olive oil. It’s often eaten right after the fruit harvest. This salad has the perfect combination of sweet and sour flavors.

You can try a variation of the salad at home. It’s good to know that blood oranges go well with many green leafy vegetables. Pick any veggie of your choice and dress it with vinaigrette dressing. We also recommend topping it with chopped nuts.


A simple way of making delicious frozen treats is making homemade popsicles. Add sugar and fill it in a popsicle mold if you have leftover juice. You’ll have frozen blood orange popsicles in no time. 

You can also use blood orange zest to flavor cakes, lemon bars, or bread. Sliced blood oranges also work as excellent toppings for iced desserts or yogurt.

Due to its bright look, you can also use these fruits as decorations. We recommend doing this for fruit cakes or upside-down cakes. Blood oranges also look delicious on top of pies.

What Does Blood Orange Taste Like?

Blood orange fruit has a complex flavor. The flavor of blood oranges is sweet and tart, with notes of raspberry or strawberry.

Often, locals report them as having a similar taste to navel oranges. Others say that it’s closer to grapefruit or raspberries. So, what does blood orange taste like? 

Blood orange flavor has a distinct floral and tarty flavor. It’s dominantly sweet with a slight hint of sourness on the tongue. Compared to regular oranges, it’s less acidic and more pleasant to the palate.

Does Blood Orange Taste Like Grapefruit?

Another fruit variety that’s similar to blood oranges is grapefruit. But does blood orange taste like grapefruit at all? Unfortunately, it’s not a definitive answer.

Blood orange tastes like grapefruit, but only in its bitterness. You’ll get the same tarty note at the end of each bite when you eat fresh blood oranges. This tarty taste is also present in grapefruits and cranberries. It’s common to get all three of these fruits mixed up when it comes to taste.

How to Store Blood Oranges

Fresh blood oranges don’t have a long shelf life, so it’s important to store them properly. Keep them away from moisture and direct sunlight. You can store them in your pantry, this will only last for up to a week.

If you want to extend their lifespan, don’t forget to store blood oranges in the fridge. Wrap them in a clean plastic bag or airtight container. These fruits should last for at least 2 weeks.

You can also opt for freezing the oranges. Frozen blood oranges can last up to 3 months. When eating one, simply defrost it at room temperature, and it will still be as good as the day you bought it.

Where Does Blood Orange Grow?

Blood oranges are primarily grown in Italy. However, you can also buy them in Spain, Malta, and other places along the Mediterranean. They favor warm climates, so they can also grow in Texas, Florida, and California.

When Is Blood Orange In Season?

Blood oranges are available from December to April. But, some varieties, like the Sanguinello, take longer to ripen. This type of blood orange may last up to late May.

Are Blood Oranges Good For Your Skin?

Yes, blood oranges are good for your skin. They’re rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.

What Are The Side Effects Of Blood Orange?

Like most fruits, blood oranges can have high acid levels. If you overeat, you may be at risk for heartburn. If you’re prone to acid reflux, we recommend watching your intake.

Does Blood Orange Taste Like Raspberries?

Yes, blood oranges taste like raspberries. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own flavors. So, what does blood orange taste like? On their own, fresh blood oranges have an extremely sweet yet tarty taste.

Blood Orange vs Orange

Blood oranges are a variety of orange that have a dark reddish-orange color and contain more anthocyanin than regular oranges. The skin of the blood orange is thinner than that of a regular orange and can sometimes be slightly bumpy in texture. The main difference between a navel orange and a blood orange is the flavor. A navel orange is juicy but has a bitter aftertaste. On the other hand, blood oranges are sweeter and tartier.

Do Blood Oranges Have Seeds?

Blood oranges are typically seedless or have only a few small seeds.


Blood oranges are a type of orange that is native to Italy. Its name comes from its signature deep red flesh. It has tough, pitted skin that’s hard to peel. Its sizes range from small to medium and may also come in seedless forms.

Fresh blood oranges have a noticeably sweet flavor. It also has just a hint of tartness and bitterness. Other citrus varieties that are close in taste are cranberries and raspberries.

A notable comparison to blood oranges is navel oranges. These oranges are juicy but have a more bitter aftertaste. However, they are generally similar in flavors, and you may use the other to substitute recipes.

Unfortunately, like many citrus fruits, these oranges don’t have a long shelf life.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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