The theory that the orange was brought to Europe by Portuguese sailors returning from the East probably explains the fact that in many languages and Italian dialects, the fruit is called “portogallo”.

However, this etymology may be false; bear in mind that the Arabic name for the sweet orange is “burtuqal”, which might be the origin of the word.



The orange is the fruit of the Citrus Sinensis, a tree of the Rutaceae family with tough evergreen leaves and famously perfumed white flowers.

The orange is also a Hesperidium, a modified berry, more or less spherical and with a leathery rind and segmented flesh in colours ranging from pale yellow to deep or blood red. Orange varieties are usually divided into orange and red, according to the colour of their flesh.

Oranges originated in Asia and are thought to have been imported to Europe in the 16th century.

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