Welcome back to our blog here at Office Groceries, your one stop shop for all things grocery-related! We have recently been giving you a run down of the histories behind the favourite fruits in your fresh fruit basket delivery. Go ahead and check out the previous post on The History of the Apple in your Office Fruit Basket for a riveting dive into the story of the humble pomme.
This week we are turning our attention to the mighty orange. Certainly a staple fruit across the world, this citrus wonder is a delicious and nutritious part of any diet. Oranges are not only a key element of your office fruit delivery, but they are so popular that they are a key part of the world’s trading economy. Read on for the full back story of this delicious, juicy wonder.
1. “Orange”: What came first, the colour or the fruit?
According to Collins Dictionary, the name ‘orange’ comes from the Old French term “pomme d’orenge” for the citrus fruit. In the 16th century, the word ‘orange’ began to be used to identify the fruit in England on various market stalls. This was long before the days of the fresh fruit basket delivery, and so it’s pretty amazing that the name has remained unchanged for this long. Especially given the changing nature of European languages in that period.
So, it would seem that ‘orange’ was first used for the fruit. When broken down, the meaning of that word is simply a description of a combination of red and yellow to a certain shade. It makes sense that that description of the colour would be prompted by the fruit, as its hue is so specific and recognisable.
2. A fruit of Asian origins
According Encyclopedia Britannica, oranges are believed to be native to Asia. The expansion of Islam across Asia and Europe is though to have brought oranges around the world, but it wasn’t until the 16th century that they became a more popular item in English marketplaces. By the time that Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas, orange trees had already reached as far as the Canary Islands.
When we fast-forward to the present day, the UK receives the majority of its fruit from abroad. The oranges in your office fruit baskets may well be better travelled than you are! The top providers for the UK supermarkets are Spain, Egypt and South Africa. Israel used to be a top contender, but since production levels have fallen, their exports to the UK have decreased significantly.
3. Why do people love oranges so much?
Oranges are a highly versatile and tasty fruit. Perfect to eat on their own, or as a use in both sweet and savoury recipes, it’s no surprise that they are so popular. Orange juice has also risen as an extremely popular use of the fruit throughout the course of the twentieth century. We provide an orange juice delivery at Office Groceries, so do check it out!
Essential oils is another product that is produced from oranges that is a big seller in the Western market. These oils are used to flavour goods, as well as in recipes to accent other flavours. These are not enjoyable on their own, however, as one might imagine. They don’t quite make the cut into our fresh fruit basket delivery.
Thank you for reading our blog post, we hope you have found it enlightening. If you have any questions regarding ordering your own office fruit basket then please don’t hesitate to contact us.