Happy Lunar New Year!
The New Year has finally arrived and it’s time to celebrate by lighting fireworks, wearing red clothing, and eating oranges!
While it may sound mundane to celebrate a holiday by eating a common fruit, oranges are especially fitting for the New Year because of what they symbolize.
Have you noticed that after eating a meal at a Chinese restaurant, there is rarely a dessert menu offered? Rather, when it comes time to pay for the check, the server usually brings a plate of freshly sliced oranges for everyone to share.
Likewise, if you’ve ever dined at a Chinese restaurant, you also may have noticed that oftentimes, a plate of oranges is placed in front of an altar.
I didn’t know it as a child, but I learned later that oranges and tangerines were special because of their symbolism in Chinese (as well as other Asian) culture.
The Chinese words for orange and tangerine sound much like the words for luck and prosperity, so when you are served either of these citrus fruits, it’s much like someone is wishing you good luck.
It’s no wonder that they’re also often given as gifts during Lunar New Year or even for a regular visit.
Moroccan Spiced Oranges
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 sweet oranges, seedless if possible (I recommend Cara Cara or Blood Oranges)
- 1 vanilla pod
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon to taste
- Cut one of the oranges in half and squeeze the juice into a small saucepan together with the measured water and the spices. Bring it to a low simmer and then remove from the heat and leave to steep and cool for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the remaining oranges. Use a knife to get all the pith (white membrane) off.
- Cut the oranges in 1/4-inch thin slices and arrange on a large plate.
- Pour the spiced orange juice over the orange slices. Serve with some extra cinnamon sprinkled on top.
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