Was the Orange in the Garden of Eden?
In The Beginning...
When I think of the fruits found in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2 and 3) with Adam and Eve, of course, I think of the apple. I also think of the bananas, oranges, cherries, grapes and pears. I am beginning to think maybe being raised in the Midwest formed my view of the Garden of Eden. Only the fruits that were grown and shipped into that area made my list.
Upon visiting the Sunshine State, Florida, I saw advertising that stated that Florida is the #1 state in production of oranges, in the United States. It was suggested to me that I should research the orange. This is where I discovered my view of fruit was limited.
The Hybrid Orange
The orange is a hybrid. It is a cultured fruit from the pomelo and the mandarin. It is 25% pomelo and 75% mandarin. The orange is the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. It was originally cultivated in China around 2500 BC, but was still bitter. It arrived in the Americas in 1493 with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage, from Madrid, Spain. The orange was then cultivated in Mexico and arrived in Florida in 1565.
Four Original Citrus Fruits
I have never eaten a fruit called a pomelo, but when you call it a grapefruit, I have eaten it and I have eaten canned mandarins, but never a fresh one.
The orange is hybrid from four original citrus fruit species:
Pomelo - which is a white grapefruit.
Citron - a large, fragrant, thick rind citrus fruit similar the lemon or lime.
Mandarin - which is a tangerine.
Papeda - the most primitive group of the original citrus fruits, similar to a lemon or lime.
These fruits all originate in Asia.
Choosing the Quality Orange
I remember being told that buying an orange by its looks would not get me the best quality orange. Oranges are colored by dried food coloring. You need to look for brown spots which indicate a quality orange. It should feel heavy in your hand and should never feel dry or soft. It should feel firm and be shiny. Note: The brown spots to look for are pictured well in the tangerine picture.
The most common oranges are the Naval and the Valencia. The Naval orange got its name because it has a naval like a human naval. When inspecting the Naval orange, it should look like a healthy human naval. It should be firm when squeezed. It is the orange favored as the eating orange. It has a thick rind and has no seeds.
The Valencia orange is considered the common, blond, or white round orange. The majority of the Valencia oranges are used for juice extraction and has seeds. The Valencia orange should have a little give when squeezed because it has a thin rind.
Both oranges can be eaten or juiced. An orange should smell fresh and not fermented or mushy. If it smells anything other than like orange peel it is not good.
The Orange In The Garden of Eden
And No, the clean, crisp, refreshing orange was not in the Garden of Eden. It is more likely that the lemon, lime or tangerine was there.