ORANGE (lat. Citrus aurantium L.)
Orange is called the queen of the citrus fruits. There are three kinds of oranges: bitter orange (Aurantium var. amara), sweet orange (Aurantium var. Dulcis), and Bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. Bergamia).
LEMON (lat. Citrus limon)
Lemon is a tree from citrus family (Rutaceae). Yellow fruit ripens in winter and in mild climate areas the tree can ripen twice a year.
TANGERINE (lat. Citrus reticulata)
Tangerine is a tree from Rutaceae family and it belongs to citrus genus. Unshiu sort (Japanese tangerine) is the most common in our area, especially in Neretva river valley.
CITRUS FRUIT AND LOŠINJ'S CAPTAINS
Sailors from Lošinj brought citrus fruit to the island from their voyages in the Mediterranean. One shipment of lemons and oranges came to Mali Lošinj from Vietnam via Palermo. Ambroz Haračič, a naturalist from Lošinj, marked that in the late 19th century the gardens of Mali Lošinj counted 1097 citrus trees – 797 lemon trees, 129 trees of sweet orange, 154 trees of bitter orange and 17 tangerine trees. They all grow in the open, blossom and give fruit throughout the year. These beautiful exotic trees were planted by captains in the gardens of their villas, and for poor sailors exhausted from hard labour on ships, the fruit was the source of richness and cure which healed their tired bodies. In the ancient times the sailors knew that lemon juice was irreplaceable for treating scurvy so sailors from Lošinj stocked their ships with lemon.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF ORANGE
It contains plenty of vitamin C, calcium, potassium, folic acid, as well as 60 flavonoids with wide range of effects and karetonoid which are antioxidants and help kill cancer cells. It is proven that hesperidin, an antioxidant found in orange juice, improves functions of blood vessels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Eating orange is recommended for heart conditions such as palpitations. Scientific research show that one meal of citrus fruit a day reduces the risk of stroke for 19 %. Orange juice revives body and soul. Rich in vitamin C ( 71 mg per fruit), it is recommended to drink it in the morning to strengthen the organism and prevent anemia because it encourages absorption of iron, and it is recommended in case of anorexia. Consumption in the evening not recommended. An old French proverb says: "Eat it alone in the morning, share with a friend at noon, and give it to your enemy in the evening." Contraindications: lemon peel and bitter orange essential oil is phototoxic meaning that preparations with such oil (baths, massages, cosmetics) should not be applied to skin 24 hours before sun exposure.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF LEMON
Lemon heals infections of the pulmonary system, encourages liver and gallbladder cleansing, and it is a good tonic for the digestive system. Because of its detoxifying effect, it is useful against arthritis pain, rheumatism or lumbago. It stops bleeding. Lemon essential oil is used in preparations for treating cellulite, blisters, aphthae, oily skin and acne prone skin. Mixed with olive oil, it can prevent nail chipping, it removes darks spots on skin, and it can be used in treatment of age spots. With its antiviral effect, it can help reduce viral warts. It is effective against many bacterias, and it boosts immunity because it affects the function of the leukocytes. It is a great source of vitamin C in winter so it is served with tea and honey. Before adding lemon juice in warm tea it is recommended to leave tea to cool off a bit in order to preserve higher concentration of vitamin C.
Contraindications: citrus allergy
HEALTH BENEFITS OF TANGERINE
This citrus fruit is rich in vitamins C and B, calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Rich in fibre, it is recommended for digestive problems, especially for slow digestion, cramps and flatulence, and it helps liver cleanse. Like other citrus fruits, its caloric value is low. It contains a lot of fibre which is useful for digestion and large intestine problems. Beta-carotenes (flavonoids and terpenes) synthesise vitamin A which is crucial for good eye-sight and silky skin. It helps fight cellulite due to diuretic properties.
ORANGE, LEMON AND TANGERINE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Citrus fruits carry the energy of the sun that we miss in winter. Here are some simple recipes which will help you create a sunny ambience in winter days:
• SCENTED AIR FRESHENER FOR YOUR HOME, CAR AND OFFICE
Get a 1 dl spray bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of alcohol, 30 drops of tangerine peel essential oil, 30 drops of orange peel essential oil and 40 drops of lemon peel essential oil. Rub the bottle between your palms and add 1 dl of distilled water, shake it and use as air freshener.
• SCENTED NATURAL BATHROOM CLEANING PRODUCT
Take a small package of sodium bicarbonate (round box with white lid) and add about 15 drops of lemon essential oil. Close the lid and shake to mix the ingredients. Use a small amount of scented powder on a wet sponge to clean your bathroom.
• SCENTED ANIMATION FOR CHILDREN'S ROOM
Tangerine essential oil is called the oil of children's joy because it creates a pleasant atmosphere, encourages optimism, gives a sense of happiness, encourages creativity and besides all that, the children love it which makes it perfect for a scented animation for children's room, classroom or nursery school. Place a cotton wool ball with 10 drops of tangerine essential oil in every corner of a room.
CITRUS FRUIT IN GASTRONOMY
• ORANGE PEEL LIQUEUR
(for a better function of the stomach)
10 dg of orange peel, not sprayed; 10 dg of lemon peel; ½ kg of sugar; 1 l of 80 % alcohol. Soak orange and lemon peel in alcohol for 10 days, drain and add sugar. Drink one teaspoon per day as an aperitif for a short period. In many Mediterranean countries the orange is used for sweet and sour sauces to dip fried shrimps, previously dredged in coconut flour.
• LEMON LIQUEUR (Limoncello)
1 l of pure alcohol, 7-8 big lemons, 1 l of water , ½ kg of sugar
Rinse lemons with a brush in warm water. Take off the top layer of lemon peel, slice it ( avoid white parts of the peel as they make the liqueur bitter) and put it in a jar with alcohol. Store in a dark place for 15 days at least. After that, prepare the syrup. Cook water and sugar. Heat until the sugar melts and the syrup is clear, mixing continuously. No need to boil. Leave to cool. Drain alcohol and syrup and pour into glass bottles. Close tight and leave it for another 15 days before tasting it. Keep limoncello in the freezer.
Tangerine juice has anti-stress effect and it is useful for digestive problems. It is recommended to take it on empty stomach and occasionally do an organism cleansing treatment. Tangerine can be used to make jams, jellies, fruit creams. It is an excellent addition to chocolate, and dried peel can be added in tea, compotes or relaxing and refreshing baths.
SPECIALTIES OF LOŠINJ
Lošinj steak; Adriatic shrimps in Lošinj citrus fruit sauce; Sea bass fillet marinated in citrus fruit juice; Crêpes with citrus fruit jam; Papuči; Lošinj lemon and meringue pie; Warm cheesecake with oranges and pine nuts; Crêpes with figs and orange.