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Mar 3, 2008 10:46 AM

blood oranges

anyone know where i can find fresh blood oranges in montreal? preferably within walking distance of mcgill campus.

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  1. We have been buying them at PA on Parc near St. Joseph. They have been great this year.

    It might also be worth checking out Eden (the store above Metro in La Cite, corner of Parc and Prince Arthur. Wouldn't be surprised if they had them, and that is closer to you.

    1. The inferior Sunkist oranges (though moh's right that they're better than usual this year) can be found in nearly every supermarket (close to McGill, try Eden or the Provigo on Park or Supermarché PA on Fort downtown or Park in Mile End). The superior Sicilian oranges are just coming into season; I usually get mine at Chez Louis and Chez Nino at the Jean Talon Market or ExoFruits on Côte-des-Neiges north of Queen Mary.

      16 Replies
      1. re: carswell

        We got some at our local Provigo this weekend: the sign said South Africa (?), but the stickers on them were a mixed bag of Sunkist and Sicily. The Sicily ones have orange skin, the Sunkist have a pink tint.

        1. re: carswell

          The ones I have been buying at PA appear to be from Sicily, they have an Italian sticker on them, and I have not seen the Sunkist sticker on them. (My goodness. Labelled fruit! I thought I had successful escaped the fashion world and its love of labels!)

          P.s. The moroccon clementines at PA are really sweet and beautiful and delicious right now.

          1. re: moh

            The ones from PA are definitely from Sicily - however, I think they're picked a bit underripe, as they're only partly red inside. But they are good...I've been buying them for quite a few weeks now. Must try the clementines next time I'm there...

            1. re: cherylmtl

              That probably means they're the Tarocco variety (or another; I believe four varieties are commonly grown in Sicily, though I've only seen Taroccos and Moros here). Other signs are that they tend to be larger, looser skinned, more hauntingly flavoured and, especially later in the season, less musky than the darker Moros (which is the variety Sunkist markets).

              1. re: carswell

                Just checked the wrapper, and they're Moros. Go figure...

                1. re: cherylmtl

                  Hmm. The Sicilian Moros are long gone from ExoFruits replaced by another unspecified but quite different variety under the brand name Oraninja (with a Ninja turtle on the wrappers, of course), packed by Fratelli Sangari in Catania. Based on the pictures of the different varieties on the website -- -- I'd guess these are Tarocco Gallos. I much prefer their loose peel and tart flavour.

                  The PA clementines are great, some of the best I've tasted this year. Sweet and tart in a way reminiscent of a tangerine. Really easy to peel though the pith has a pink-orange tint and texture quite different from the December clementines.

              2. re: cherylmtl

                Better get there soon Cherylmtl! My parents and I are plowing through them (and we are prodigious fruit eaters :)

                1. re: moh

                  I shop at the PA downtown, so unless your family is going to head there next, I think I'll be safe for a little while ;-)

              3. re: moh

                I've been spending the past few weeks in Ottawa (as many of you know), and been lucky enough to stumble across an IGA shop called Hartman's near my hotel. They had the most incredible moro oranges last weekend. I bought four, gobbled them down, and went back for more! They also had the sweetest, juiciest cara cara navels.

                I do love good citrus. I've been absolutely pigging out on the stuff!

                1. re: phedre

                  The latest blood oranges I got at Provigo had a bit of a grapefruit taste. The Ataulfo mangoes, however, just came into season and those I have been pigging out on like mad. I haven't had any since August.
                  I also found 1.69$/lb organic tomatoes at Provigo and bought a boxful and frankly, between the mangoes and the tomato salads, it's enough to make you forget about the snow. Find me organic strawberries and I will be completely fulfilled.

                  1. re: Venusia

                    Good call on the Ataulfo mangoes! We just ate one, I had to buy one after your description of pigging out on them. Well they are just divine, very creamy and very fragrant. Such a powerful mango taste too. Thanks again, keep bringing on the fruit tips, I'm loving them!

                    1. re: moh

                      what's up with ataulfo mangoes - why are they such a rare sight in western grocery stores? i grew up eating them from chinese groceries (in toronto) and didn't even know green mangoes (tommy atkins?) existed until recently. in my mother's eyes, the very thought of buying a non-ataulfo mango would break some sort of unwritten chinese law...

                      1. re: cywd

                        " in my mother's eyes, the very thought of buying a non-ataulfo mango would break some sort of unwritten chinese law..."

                        Not a bad law, given the yumminess of these mangoes. I have noticed them in many shops around Montreal, but not all the time, just when they are in season. Now that I know how yummy they can be, I have become a convert.

                    2. re: Venusia

                      Where can one avail onself of aforementioned mangoes?? I have to have one (or two or three of four ) NOW.

                      I love mangoes - I really do. I am a mango lover.

                      1. re: maisonbistro

                        They're pretty much everywhere at JTM.

                        1. re: Campofiorin

                          thanks everyone. Got my hands on some at (yuck) Loblaws. Hmmm, have mango juice dripping down my chin.... yummmmm

              4. The original comment has been removed
                1. I just bought some that have a blue wrapping and the name Lady Rosa, form Palagonia in Sicily. They are very juicy, not particularly tart or sweet either and the pulp has flecks of pink. Are they the Taccoro Gallos?

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: swissfoodie

                    Has anyone seen any Cara Cara oranges this year?

                    1. re: eat2much

                      Yup, at my friendly neighborhood IGA (Cote St Luc shopping center) and at, ugh, Loblaws on St. Jacuqes.

                      1. re: eat2much

                        Ooh what at Cara Cara oranges?

                        BTW re: blood oranges at PA on Parc: currently they are out. they got a bunch yesterday, but they were frozen so they sent them back. They should get some more soon.

                        1. re: moh

                          Cara Cara are, I believe from Sunkist. They have a thicker rind than other blood oranges, more like a navel orange and pink to red flesh. Basically a kind of navel blood orange. They don't have the bitter undertones of the classic sicilian blood orange.

                          1. re: maisonbistro

                            Actually, they're not blood oranges but more of a cross between a navel orange and a pink grapefruit. They're still available at Chez Nino and Chez Louis also has an organic variety that is more flavorful than the Sunkist ones. The Cara cara, which I'm very fond of, is as juicy as a pink grapefruit while being a little sweet than a navel orange. The perfect mix.

                            That being said, the sicilian brand I love the most is zuccarello and it seems harder to find this year. I've seen it at the beginning of the season, a few weeks ago, but it's been replaced by some other brands that are still good but not as good IMHO.

                            1. re: Campofiorin

                              The Zuccarello oranges are perhaps better known under their Mistero brand name and wrappers with drawings of Zorro-like masks. The only ones I saw this year were Moros, which their website -- -- lists as being available from December through March, with the season for Taroccos stretching from December through April and for Sanguinellos (which I've never seen here) from March through April.

                              Can't recall the name of my favourite brand, also Cantania-based I believe, but its wrapper logo is a ladybug. Haven't seen any oranges from them in four or five years...

                              Don't know whether it's the brands we're getting or just seasonal variation, but this year's Sicilian crop seems less than stellar. Not only are the oranges a little lacking in flavour, there seems to be a high proportion of duds (bruised, going bad in 24-48 hours, etc.). On the other hand, the North American Moros have been better than usual. Go figure.

                              1. re: carswell

                                I noticed the same thing. Not as flavourful and lots of seeds too.

                          2. re: moh

                            they're also out of blood oranges at the PA on du Fort. :( oh well, i picked up a nice pomelo instead.

                      2. The ones I just got from Provigo are different than those of last week, which had a blue Sicily sticker. These new ones have an IGP Arancia Rossa di Sicilia sticker, which means, according to, that they are restricted to either of the Tarocco, Moro or Sanguinello varieties. I looked at the pictures and I can't tell the difference, but then again, maybe I am putting too much thought into this. A Chowhound side-effect, I'm sure.