If you've ever wondered where they get the thousands of oranges from for the Carnival of Ivrea every February, then it's probably east Sicily from the provinces of Catania to Siracusa.
It is only in this zone of east Sicily that the 'Arancia Rossa di Sicilia' takes on its classic form, promoted and protected by the 'Consorzio di Tutela Arancia Rossa di Sicilia IGP'.
The names to look out for when shopping are 'sanguinello', 'tarocco' and 'moro'. The tarocco is the one usually found in the various markets during the first three months of the year.
For the orange throwers of Ivrea the fruit has no seeds, weighs around 150g and leaves an impressive blood red stain on the opponent.
February also sees the 'Città dell'Arancia' event at Lentini in the province of Siracusa.
It is a series of appointments to promote the wider territory through its famous fruit and included such events as 'The Image of the Orange', 'Orange and Schools' as well as dinners featuring the red orange as a central ingredient.
The website of the Consortium of the Red Sicilian Orange IGP has a great section in English which will help you discover more about the Arancia Rossa.
The wellness and health section is especially interesting and provides information about the extraordinary qualities of the red oranges for a healthy life such as vitamins, antioxidants and precious micronutrients.
They provide further detailed information about these qualities for growth, pregnancy, sport and weight.
There is also a recipe page, but you have to sign in, but do try our Sicilian Christmas Salad recipe which features them.
We have a brochure listing 17 recipes based on the red orange and they include classic marmalade, red orange ice cream, red orange trout
See also Sicilian lemon industry
Dan Hostetler adds: The most beautiful celebration of Carnivale in Sicily is in Acireale, province of Catania. This festivity has come to be known as. On the first afternoon the colorful parades begin from the Piazza dell Madonna with all their masked participants and giant floats. The floats here take on their own political and satirical messages as they represent famous events and personalities, all represented tongue in cheek fashion. There is a preponderance of locally grown lemons and oranges used in the making of these floats which puts a perfume in the air is not equaled anywhere in Italy. There is such an orgy of smells, sounds and colorful sights during this celebration that it is to be put in a category all of its own. Anyone visiting Sicily during this period should make an effort to participate in this week-long party!