There is nothing better to start the day, than the first taste of something sweet, delicious and oh so quenching as freshly squeezed Portuguese oranges, grown from a tree in the Algarve.
My husband is literally like a child and can't wait to place the oranges on the top of the juicing machine in the supermarket and wait for his bottle to fill with sunshine juice!
The Algarve produces up to 70% of all citrus harvested in the country. That means about 300,000-400,000 tonnes of fruit each year
Why are oranges called Portugal?
By the way, the word "porteghal" in Persian means orange (fruit). Portuguese were the first who brought this juicy fruit from China to Iran.
The orange in Mediterranean areas was a bitter green fruit. When the Portuguese arrived in China in early 1500's, they found a different, reddish and sweet orange and brought it to Europe. So, many countries, from Greece to Pakistan, named this new orange as 'Portugal', and the fruit gave the name to the colour.
Interestingly the word 'marmalade' comes into English through Old French 'marmelade' from Portuguese 'marmelada', a conserve of quince (Portuguese 'marmelo').
Which areas in the Algarve produce the best oranges?
Oranges from the Silves area are considered among the best in the country or even the world due to the quality of the soil and the micronutrients from the waters of Rio Arade.
The Silves region is so proud that they host an orange show, which was postponed in February due to the pandemic, but took place over the weekend of April 16-18. 'Mostra Silves Capital da Laranja' is an annual event that showcases the town's famous oranges by bringing together local producers, craftspeople and restaurants.
This year's edition hosted a conference, a series of events promoting local orange producers, tips on how to cook and make cocktails with the citrus fruit, and several music, dance and magic performances!
The show opened with the 'Laranja XXI' conference on Friday, April 16, where specialists discussed the issues and challenges that the sector is facing.
On Saturday, the spotlight was turned on local orange producers who were be the stars of the show, followed in the afternoon by a show cooking event that used oranges to create a delicious dish and cocktail.
Later that day, a musical performance was held by the Sociedade Filarmónica Silvense, followed by a dance show by Associação STAM.
Festivities came to a close on Sunday, with local orange producers yet again taking center stage, the Algarve barmen association (ABA) provided a mouth-watering orange cocktail recipe.
The last stretch of the show was aired on national television on TVI's Somos Portugal show.
Local stores offer delicious home-made orange jam that tastes great with local cheeses and other delicious foods produced in Algarve.
Tavira is another small city in Algarve where orange grove excursions are available. The harvesting starts in November and can last until March.
On the way to Villa Cascata you will find stalls by the roadside, selling oranges by the tray load, stop and treat yourself to a refreshing cup of sunshine juice!