Each dish on the table for a Chinese New Year (which begins Feb.10th in 2013) stands for a hope or wish for the forthcoming 12 months; for example:
Oranges and (loose-skinned) Tangerines-The color represents gold and riches; the round shape means unity and togetherness. Also, they’re passed out on Chinese New Year Day because the words for “tangerine” and “orange” sound like the words for luck and wealth.
Plates of citrus are also passed around the house for luck.
The “appeal” of oranges and tangerines extends far beyond this particular holiday, however; they’re vastly enjoyed as a dessert and cooking staple year-round by all demographics.
There’s a variety of sizes, shapes and textures; there’s thick and thin-skinned; many are seedless; the “flesh” can range from brilliant red or orange to pink or orange-red, with flavors ranging from sweet to very sweet to sweet-tart.
Additional Orange Info
Buy oranges that are heavy for their size and that are without blemishes or soft spots. Most will keep at room temperature for about a week and in the fridge for 3 weeks (if at all possible, chill the orange at least an hour or two before you eat it; it’s like eating-and drinking-intense, very fresh orange juice; it’s so good this way (unless you prefer room temp orange!).
An orange is a good source of vitamin A, potassium and fiber.
Did you know that an orange is equal to 100% of your daily vitamin C requirement?
Five Varieties to Consider:
Cara Cara-This is a navel orange with low acidity. The Cara Cara is is seedless, sweet and tangy, with dark pink or reddish flesh. This can be added to salads and made as juice for sauces. But bear in mind that they can be tough to peel.
Satsuma-A loose-skinned mandarin orange that peels easily, the Satsuma is also sweet, juicy-and seedless! It’s great for snacking “as is” and is often sold with the leaves attached, which also gives this orange decorative uses.
Blood-The most common of this type in stores is the Moro variety, which is about the size of a tennis ball. The flesh is dark crimson and has a sweet-tart flavor with a hint of berry. There are few or no seeds and the skin may have maroon patches. The blood orange can be used as juice in drinks and sauces, plus added to salads by slices or sections.
The Clementine is an easy-to-peel type of mandarin orange (also called a Christmas orange). This is great for snacking, with a sweet flavor and mostly seedless. They’re often sold in 3-pound bags or 5-pound boxes. The Clementine’s juice makes a wonderful vinaigrette!
The Honeybell is a bell-shaped Florida tangelo that’s a combination of a tangerine and a grapefruit. It’s easy to peel, very super sweet and juicy. This is best eaten “as is.”
Source: Detroit Free Press-February 22, 2012