Ode to the Orange

March 29, 2012

‘Tis the season of la zagara, orange blossoms on the breeze.

Is there a sweeter scent in all Creation?

Orange Tree in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga


Aranciu. (Sicilian)

Arancia. (Italian)

Naranja. (Spanish)

Naranča. (Croatian)

Orange. (French)

Oranġjo. (Maltese)

Oranĝo. (Esperanto)

Overripe oranges hang heavy on the trees; they roll around in the street ripe, juicy, crimson.

Oranges Roll on the Ground in Sicily, copyright Jann  Huizenga

Oranges for Sale in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Oranges for sale in Catania, Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

You want fresh-squeezed OJ? Ask for a spremuta, pronounced spray-moo-tah. Nothing can compare.

Oranges for spremuta in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Try not thinking of peeling an orange. Try not imagining the juice running down your fingers, the soft inner part of the peel. The smell. Try and you can’t…

Doug Coupeland

Oranges for Sale in Sicily, copyright Jann HuizengaClick to subscribe to BaroqueSicily.



35 comments to Ode to the Orange

  • Andrea

    What is that food they call arancia? I might have spelled it wrong. a round ball of fried food?? I don’t think it’s actually an orange… but looks like one?

    • Jann

      Hi Andrea–thanks for reading and commenting! It’s an arancina–so called “little orange” because it’s deep-fried and golden and often shaped like an orange. Arancini are stuffed with rice, cheese, ragu and many other things. Super good & super fattening!

  • John Schinina

    Ciao Jann, Janine said it all, Sicily has a scent that is hard to explain, the perfume from the fruits send fabulous aromas. My favorite are the Fig trees, they have an unusual smell that I enjoy.

  • MMMMMMMMM….you keep outdoing yourself Jann! Absolutely tantalizing photos! I’m homesick already. Really beautiful!

  • Oh, such riches! Your cup truly runneth over, as does your chin as the succulent sweet orange juice dribbles down it. I remember that incomparable smell of sweetness on the air when the orange trees were blossoming. I had never experienced anything quite like it before. Intoxicating! That first photo of the tree glimpsed through the doorway, with the textured walls in the foreground…that captures an essence of “my” Italy. Wonderful!

  • Jann, that first shot took my breath away! I love how you give us a peek through the open door. Lovely perspective, for sure. Oranges. How I love them! I especially love freshly squeezed orange juice. And the sweet aroma is heavenly! 🙂

  • cemal karahan

    Oh, Jann…Yes, ‘disappear’ is the wrong word…How illeterate I am…! Some time later oranges will be put in cold storage for summer use….! Bees are still with us….!

    • Jann

      Oh, I see what you mean, Cemal. OK! But honestly, I’ve heard bees are disappearing, and since they pollinate orange blossoms…etc etc.. I’m not an expert on these things, as you can tell!!

  • Oh what gorgeous photos! Love the view from the door. I can smell the oranges from here! Thanks, Jann, for such a beautiful post. Susan

  • Maria Clayton

    Ciao Jann, all the way from Australia down under. Absolutely beautiful photos, love the colours.
    Keep them coming. X

  • Pina Marra

    Amazing pictures Jann!

    • Jann

      Ciao Pina–every time you write I conjure up those lovely days in Reggio. How time has flown since 2007-8!

  • cemal karahan

    Jann…! Wonderful photos, especially the first one…! I feel sorry thinking that oranges will disappear soon..! While living in Mersin, milk we bougt smelled orange because cows ate oranges….! We live in a wonderful part of the world…!Thanks God…!

    • Jann

      Cemal, thank you! What do you mean “oranges will disappear soon.” Because of the disappearing bees??? A sad thought, indeed.

  • Anitre

    Fabulous photos of the humble orange! I can’t wait to get back to Sicilia next week. Have you tried making orange and fennel salad, yet? It’s easy peasy.

    • Jann

      Anitre, I can almost live on orange salads–either with fennel or onion (and of course the best olive oil & lots of ground pepper).

  • Such beautiful photos, Jann!

  • Ian Henry

    Hi jan,hope you are well, not been intouch for a week or two, but enjoying what you do. Back in Sicily for a few weeks from Monday,maybe we could show you what we have been up to! Some of our friends in Ragusa /chiramonte ( not right) would love to meet you.

  • Bud

    Hi Jann

    We had blood oranges [le arancie sanguinelle] last year in an agriturismo close to Taormina. To die for.


    • Jann

      Yes, Bud, they’re so good you remember them forever. (You’re still smacking your lips at the memory!)

  • The scent of Orange blossom was the favourite of my Sicilian nunna. We have one in the garden still and just the other day its perfume stopped me in my tracks. I like to think of it as a little sign of her looking down on me. Thank you for the beautiful post Jann.

  • — O R A N G E.

    One of my favorite scents of ALL TIME.

    Jann, the first photo makes me want to walk thru the door—

    ….because I have a feeling heaven is behind it.


  • Nina

    Love your photos. Makes me want to peel one now..

  • Aimee

    The first image of the door opening to the orange tree is particularly gorgeous!

    • Jann

      Thank you Aimee. Glad you enjoyed it.(I sure had fun taking the photo from the inside of an abandoned house.)

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