Why Would I Want GREEN Oranges?

Why would I want to buy GREEN oranges?  Oranges are supposed to be ORANGE … or so I thought until we had our first encounter with a fruit truck in Belize.

Oranges were 8 for 50 cents.  Although the pickings looked marginal – in the dilapidated pickup, the mountain of oranges was mostly green with a few scattered orange jewels.     As I diligently picked my way through the pile, carefully selecting nothing but the orangest of oranges, I was accosted by an obviously very agitated farmer’s wife.  She was giving me an earful of Spanish most of which went right over my head although I picked up a word here and there.  I really didn’t have a clue what she was saying.  (My Spanish is much better these days, thank goodness!)

When I tried to buy my 8 gorgeously orange oranges she continued to shake her head and try to convince me I didn’t want those oranges.  What?  Was she saving the best oranges for someone else?   I insisted upon the oranges I had selected and she finally took my money — BUT she insisted on giving me 2 GREEN oranges for free.  OK, how strange!

Placencia Fruit Truck

Back at the boat, my saliva glands were working overtime smelling that orange I was peeling.  Until I actually got it peeled and realized almost the entire orange was rotten.  YUCK!  I tried another with the same result.  Finally in desperation, I cut one of the green oranges in half – why bother with the time it takes to peel if it’s just going to be rotten.

But the little green orange was perfect … juicy, sweet, tasty — everything I was looking for … except the ugly green exterior.

Turns out USA orange growers have conditioned us to want ORANGE oranges by injecting dye into the oranges rinds while they’re still on the tree?    WHAT?

I think it must be true – between my experiences buying NOT orange oranges in other countries and Wikipedia — here’s the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrus_Red_No.2.

So the moral to this story is — 1.  pay attention to what the nice farmer lady is trying to tell you and 2.  don’t insist on orange oranges outside the USA!

Do you have fruit experiences while cruising?  Leave a comment and share!  Cheers — Jan



  1. Hi Jan,

    There must be something else to the story. Maybe the variety of Orange tree, or something. I can assure you that the oranges i’ve had from the trees in my parent’s back yard were:
    1) Orange
    2) Not Dyed
    3) Delicious
    But you have me curious! If I didn’t have enough to do, I’d start researching it too 🙂

    I hope you like how your new site turned out!

    • Tim — love the site redesign – THANK YOU!!!! 🙂 Still the oranges in other countries are NOT orange… so if you get out of the US, don’t buy orange oranges! 🙂

  2. Appreciate the recommendation. Let me try it out.

  3. I think it might be about the acidity level of the soil that causes the outside color of the orange.

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