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The History of Citrus

Last updated 6 years ago

Orange juice is a popular beverage, providing essential vitamins and minerals and delicious refreshment any time of day. While orange juice may have been around for as long as any of us can remember, oranges have actually only been in America for a little more than 500 years! Over time, oranges became an important and highly beneficial part of our society. Here’s a closer look at the history of citrus:

  • It is believed that oranges were first found over 20 million years ago in the area of the world known as Malaysia. If we fast-forward through time, we find that oranges were held in high regard by the Greeks and the Romans. Known to these civilizations as “golden apples,” oranges served as the perfect food to offer to the gods.
  • Citrus fruit also played an important role in ancient Chinese culture. This fruit quickly gained popularity among people of every age and socioeconomic status. Eventually, explorers brought oranges with them to many different lands, including Japan, Africa, and the Middle East.
  • It wasn’t long before oranges found their way throughout Europe. European royalty liked to include citrus trees in their gardens because of their pleasant scent. At this time, oranges were mainly appreciated for their scent and not for their taste.
  • In 1493, Columbus brought oranges on his ship to the island that is today known as Haiti. Oranges quickly became essential for sailors in the navy, as it was found that consuming these fruits could help prevent scurvy. In the early 1500s, Spaniards brought orange seeds to Florida, an event that would change the land forever.
  • Today, Florida is famous for producing orange juice for fans all over the country. Approximately 80 percent of orange juice sold in the U.S. is made from Florida-grown oranges.  This beautiful state provides the perfect climate for properly growing citrus fruit such as oranges and grapefruits.

Here at Florida Citrus, our goal is to help people of all ages learn more about their favorite fruit juice. If you’d like to learn more about the history of citrus or orange juice, then you can contact us today by calling us at (863) 578-4057. 



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