"It is likely the Genovese sailors of around 1400 are the ones who brought this variation in this vanilla from China and/or India," explains Gaetano Mangione of the Italian Linea Sud. "This variation came about due to spontaneous cross breeding in the area around Ribera : a magnificent fruit that is appreciated by everyone, especially children and the elderly, due to its special flavour and seedlessness."
The vanilla oranges are grown organically or treated with an integrated crop protection agent. Besides this, the Italian trader is very happy with the characteristics: "With the very low acid content of only (min 0.06 and max 0.15%) and a Brix value of +/- 14% (when the fruit is perfectly ripe) the fruit is recommended to people with arthritis/ intestinal problems and to diabetes sufferers," according to Gaetona. "The vanilla oranges also have acid and vitamin C like other citrus fruits, but also vitamins B1, B2, PP and mineral salts."
The red Tarocco, better known as the blood orange, also grows around the Etna. "Due to the unique rises and falls in the temperatures in this area, the citrus fruits accumulate a considerable amount of sugar and anthocyanine pigments. This gives the oranges their typical sweet flavour, the lovely colour of flesh and the intense colour of the peel."