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PRODUCT TYPE: Fresh Fruit
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Until the end of the 15th century citron, sour orange, lemon and lime were the only citrus fruit known to Europeans. The crusades created an interest and a demand for new and exotic products. The independent states of Genoa and Venice maintained trading routes from Italy through Palestine and Arabia to India at great cost for several centuries. This increasing trade with India and the Far East and the great voyages of discovery at the end of the 15th century brought many novelties. The sweet orange was among them.
The first written reference to sweet oranges dates back to 1472. A trader from Savona had sent a written bill of sale to his client mentioning 15 000 sweet oranges. The varieties grown at that time were inferior to those we know today and both sweet and sour oranges were used as condiments for fish and meat.
It is perhaps worth mentioning that the word orange always referred to the Sour Orange from the 11th century to the end of the 18th century. It was only after the Portuguese started importing new varieties directly from China in the first half of the 17th century that a new type called Portugal orange slowly spread to other parts of southern Europe. The first modern type of sweet orange tree was imported to Portugal in 1635. By 1650 it was known also in France and Italy. The fruit was sweet and could be eaten fresh, unlike other citrus fruits known at the time.
Sweet orange is by far the most widely grown fruit tree in the world and the second most commonly cultivated fruit. Banana, which is not a tree, is the number one fruit, grapes come third with apples in fourth place.
Nucellar is one of the juiciest sweet orange varieties grown in India. They have an amazing taste and are known for the good juicing quality. Grown widely in Maharashtra, Punjab & Rajasthan.
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