Blood Orange Spremuta (Italian orange juice) ~ a traditional healthy Italian fresh squeezed citrus juice for citrus season. When was the last time you squeezed yourself a perfect glass?
If it’s been a while, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to enjoy all the wonderful citrus fruit that’s in high season right now!
I know I know, there are some of you ~ ok, maybe most of you ~ who are thinking why the heck is Sue giving us a post about orange juice?? I think she’s lost her marbles…
Well, I’m glad you asked, because I love to share uber simple ideas like this from time to time on the blog. I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded now and then that the most exquisite food experiences can sometimes be dead simple, bleeding obvious, right there in front of our noses .
We’re drinking the rainbow today!
Spremuta (spray – MOO – tah) is Italian for juice, and spremuta d’arancia is, you guessed it, orange juice. But not just any old orange juice. I’m talking about plump speckled tangerines, blushed cara caras, juicy tangelos, and crimson blood oranges (it’s like sipping flowers.) The Italians have a lot to teach us about the simple act of juicing this fruit. We don’t need to make a pitcher of it, we don’t need to glug down a huge glass…a tiny delicate dose is plenty. We’ll sip it mindfully and enjoy every second of the experience.
The Italians serve up this hand pressed citrus juice every day, in every bar and corner coffee shop. It’s serious business, just like a fine wine or cup of espresso, and it’s served up fresh pressed, to order. Citrus season will be leaving us soon, so I suggest getting in your spremuta while the getting’s good!
Fresh squeezed juice is so incredibly different from the stuff in cartons. For one thing it’s not nearly as tart or acidic. The flavors of the fruit are stronger and the whole experience is more mellow than stinging the way a swig of cold Tropicana can be. Most juice sold in the US is pasteurized, meaning it’s been heated to kill (potential) bacteria. Heat treating, storage, and packaging can rob juice of flavor and nutrients. And the colors? What supermarket carton is going to give you the gem-like colors of fresh spremuta? Don’t even get me started on those ‘blood orange’ sodas…you haven’t tasted blood oranges until you taste a blood orange. Trust me.
The key to spremuta is that it’s in the moment, just like a great espresso. Make it to order, and drink the juice immediately, at room temperature. Cold can mute flavor.
Even though citrus fruit originated in China, over the centuries it’s the Italians that have really laid claim to it, and so when it comes to simply juicing this epic fruit, I take my inspiration from them.
If you love to treat yourself to healthy juice, you love to cook with citrus of all kinds, and you love cool kitchen tools, then I highly recommend this sturdy hand press, it’s easy to clean, simple to use, and lasts forever. It looks super chic on the counter and it serves as a good reminder to juice, juice, juice!
If you have a small household, little counter-space, or just want to keep it minimal, a stainless steel manual press is the way to go. I’ve gone through so many of the brightly colored presses you can pick up at the grocery store, they look pretty but they don’t last…this one will.
Lastly, and probably the one that requires the least amount of elbow grease, is an electric juicer. It’s compact, and very easy to use. I love how the juice pours right out of the spout into your glass. My own electric juicer is so old the model isn’t sold anymore, but it still works, so until it bites the dust I’m sticking with it (it’s similar to this one.)
How to make Spremuta
- Just like a fine cup of espresso, make your spremuto one glass at a time, to order.
- Even if you can’t find blood oranges, try picking up an unusual variety that’s in season now, like satsumas or mandarin tangerines. You can even make spremuta from pomegranates, just halve and juice the same way.
- No matter what juicing technique you use, roll your whole citrus fruit back and forth using firm pressure on a hard surface first, that will help loosen the membranes and make the juice flow more freely.
- Citrus juice settles quickly, so if you don’t drink right away, give it a stir first.
- The key to spremuta isI recommend drinking the juice immediately, at room temperature, too. Cold can mute flavor.
- Fancy some fizz? Add a little sparkling water to your juice ~ now that’s what soda was meant to be.
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