ORGANOLEPTIC FEATURES OF THE RED-FLESHED ORANGES OF THE CATANIA AREA
A very specific feature that characterises the micro-climate of the area around Mount Etna is the sharp variation in the temperature range between day and night, which has a positive impact on our crops. During winter the variation reaches its height, as the snow on Etna is counterbalanced by our warm sun: such a sharp contrast determines the formation of a red pigmentation in the orange flesh, determined by the anthocyanin, which is an effective anti-oxidant as well as an anti-neoplastic agent. This precious feature, together with a vitamin C content above the average, makes our oranges absolutely unique in the world. Citrus fruits have been used for centuries for pharmaceutical, decorative or culinary purposes, since they are fragrant, sweet-scented and rich in flavanoids and anisin, which are important nutritional components. In ancient times, it was common to believe that oranges possessed magical properties. In the middle ages, for instance, people believed that oranges could be used as an antidote to poisonous snake bites as well as an elixir of long life.