Everybody knows that folks from Italy and Spain are off-the-charts about food, and that certainly goes for their fruit too.

Hence, when they both created a special status for the regal Blood Orange, declaring it the “finest eating fruit in the Mediterranean,” after it was commercialized in the 19th century, we had to pay attention.

Beyond the delicious draw of its ruby-red juice and pulp, these color mutations of common orange varieties are a rich source of Vitamin C, an immune system booster, plus Vitamin A and folate, a B Vitamin.  Slightly less sweet with tart undertones, the Italians have noted their lighter, grape-like flavor since the mid-1600s.

They bring potassium and fiber, along with some anti-cholesterol properties.  The compound anthocyanin not only does the color-changing magic on cool nights (along with bringing deep reds to cherries and raspberries), it’s also known to have high antioxidant properties of its own.  This fruit tastes so good and is so good for you, it makes us blush.