Did you know there’s a type of orange called the Malta? Though not indigenous to the islands, it is believed that orange trees were planted by Arabs in the ninth and tenth centuries. Nowadays you’ll find sweet oranges in lots of gardens, particularly in the picturesque “Three Villages” of Attard, Balzan and Lija.
Winter doesn’t typically bear a lot of fruit, but oranges are at their sweetest and juiciest during this season. Indeed, nothing compares to a fresh, zesty orange for a healthy snack. Add brightness to the dining table and boost your immune system with Vitamin C this winter!
Typical oranges – navel oranges – are the best from December to March, blood oranges flourish a bit longer and are most delicious from December to April, and the smaller clementines and tangerines are in season from October to January.
Why buy seasonal & local?
Buying local, seasonal produce is fresher, healthier and more sustainable than buying off-season. Oranges have a richer flavour in this period, as they aren’t picked before they’re ripe and sprayed with chemicals to prevent them from ripening too quickly.
That also ensures better nutrition, filling you up with goods like vitamin C, calcium and antioxidants. Some even say they are a superfood – and that’s got to be a good thing while we are looking to boost our immune systems at the moment! Plus, eating seasonally all year round ensures that you eat a variety of produce, which adds up to a perfectly balanced diet.
It’s also environmentally friendly to eat seasonally, as buying fresh local produce decreases the transport cost and carbon footprint at the same time. And you’re supporting local farmers and businesses by buying local!
Where to buy local oranges
Check your neighbourhood for mobile greengrocer vans. Big queues tend to suggest that the produce is worth a try! These vans almost always only stock seasonal produce and are always very reasonably priced.
Malta Farms offers Maltese navel oranges for €2,30 per kilo.
Farmer’s Deli Malta sells 900 grams of oranges for €3,50. They’re from Italy instead of Malta, but that’s made up for by the fact that they’re 100% organic.
You can always find quality seasonal produce at Ta’Qali market. Head over there during orange season and you’ll definitely find yourself a good deal.
St Andrews Farm also has great local oranges on offer. Simply send them a message to order.
Mgarr Farms offers local oranges and free delivery for orders over €25.