Definitions

sour-orange

Bitter orange

For the fruit known as "Chinese Bitter Orange," see Trifoliate orange.

The name "bitter orange" refers to a citrus tree (Citrus aurantium) and its fruit. Many varieties of bitter oranges are used for their essential oil, which is used in perfume and as a flavoring. They are also used in herbal medicine. Other names include sour orange, bigarade orange and Seville orange.

Varieties

Uses in cooking

The unripe fruit called "narthangai" is commonly used in Southern Indian food, especially in Tamil cuisine. The unripe fruit is pickled by cutting it into spirals and stuffing it with salt. The pickle is usually consumed with thayir sadam. The fresh fruit is also used frequently in pachadis. The juice from the ripe fruit is also used as a marinade in meat in Cuban cooking. The peel can also become an ingredient in bitters. The Belgian Witbier (white beer) is a beer made from wheat which is spiced with the peel of the bitter orange. The Finnish use bitter orange peel in gingerbread, also in mämmi.

Health supplement status

The extract of bitter orange (and bitter orange peel) has been used in dietary supplements as an aid to fat loss and as an appetite suppressant, although in traditional Chinese medicine it is always prescribed in concert with other support herbs, not in isolation. Bitter orange contains synephrine, a drug similar to ephedrine, acting as a stimulant (β2 agonist) with a possible risk of ischemic stroke and heart problems.

See also

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External links

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