Oranges are big business in Spain, the (naranjo) orange tree its blossoms and its fruits have a long tradition in Andalucia with Moorish poets singing their praises and historians reminding us that these trees were also valued by Greeks and Romans who surely cultivated them.
You can’t beat a glass of fresh orange juice and while in Andalucia you will notice that it’s far cheaper to squeeze your own than to buy cartons of processed juice. The oranges grow by roadsides in Ayamonte and fill the fields nearby.
Citrus trees and that includes lemons are grown commercially in Málaga, Seville, Granada and Huelva. However, you’ll find these trees in gardens throughout the region.
Newcomers to Spain often gaze in dismay at oranges lying in the streets just waiting to be swept away by street cleaners. The fruit of the Citrus aurantium is so bitter you wouldn’t want to eat it fresh. However, the fruit along with the leaves and flowers do have their uses.
Bitter oranges are perfect for making marmalade because they have higher pectin content than sweet oranges. The Seville Orange, probably lie in the street mainly because locals are just too busy to make fresh marmalade.
The flowers of the bitter orange tree are used to produce aromatherapy essences and the leaves used for medicinal purposes. They were first used in Asia, in Chinese medicine herbal preparations made from bitter orange leaves and fruit peel were used to treat intestinal problems, including constipation.