Jaffa oranges: Everything You Need to Know About Them

The Jaffa orange is best known for being a favorite snack of Queen Elizabeth I. So, what is it about the sweet fruit that makes it fit for a queen? Here’s everything you need to know about the fascinating gems that are Jaffa oranges.

What Exactly Is a Jaffa Orange?

A Jaffa orange, also known as a Shamouti orange, is a citrus fruit grown in Jaffa, Israel, thus the name. It is a distinct orange due to its sweet flavor, deep orange color, and thick peel. The orange is oval in shape and nearly seedless.

The Jaffa orange was traded during the Ottoman Empire’s rule in the nineteenth century. Because of its temperate climate and fertile soil, Israel, which was part of Palestine at the time, was known for growing citrus fruits. They created the Jaffa orange, which became popular because it was easy to peel, almost seedless, and had a tough enough skin to be exported globally.

Jaffa Oranges: A Brief History

Jaffa oranges have had an up and down history in the Middle East. They were the dominant orange in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, even making it to Queen Victoria’s table. They grew in popularity in Europe and America, where celebrities posed with the special Jaffa oranges. The oranges were even given their own cake, the Jaffa Cake, which is probably even more well-known.

However, the orange became the focal point of political conflict over time. Many Arab farmers fled Palestine during the War of Independence, and the orange became a symbol of forced exodus. The Jaffa orange industry eventually declined in Palestine but thrived in the newly formed State of Israel.

Jaffa orange cultivation continued in Jaffa, but new varieties of oranges began to gain popularity. Because these oranges were easier to package and harvest, the Jaffa orange became outdated.

Jaffa, the Israeli company behind Jaffa oranges, still harvests the famous orange, but it’s no longer their main export; instead, they’re known for the Orri, or mandarin. Jaffa oranges are still available in the United States, but they are not as popular as navel or Valencia oranges.

How Do Jaffa Oranges Taste?

Jaffa oranges are said to have a “sweet, fine taste.” They are similar to Valencia oranges in appearance but have a much sweeter flavor. These oranges are slightly juicy, but not sufficiently so to yield quality orange juice.

When Is Jaffa Orange Season?

True Jaffa oranges are in season between November and March, but because they’re mostly imported from Israel, you can find them later in the spring, sometimes until May.

Where to Purchase Jaffa Orange?

When looking for Jaffa oranges, your best bet is to visit your local grocery store. You might be lucky and find some because Jaffa oranges are grown in the United States, primarily in the West. However, Jaffa oranges are not as popular in the United States as they are in other countries, such as the United Kingdom, where they are available year round in grocery stores.

Jaffa Orange Storage

Jaffa oranges can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. However, you can keep them fresher for longer by storing them in the refrigerator.

How to use Jaffa Oranges?

Jaffa oranges are typically eaten raw, but they can also be used in most recipes that call for oranges. Try one of these citrusy recipes with Jaffa oranges:

Perfect Summer Fruit Salad

This fruit salad is ideal for a backyard barbecue or any other occasion. Never are there any leftovers! This is one of my favorite fruit salad recipes because of the citrusy sauce. The longer you leave this salad to soak in its juices, the better it will taste. I like to chill it for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • ⅔ cup fresh orange juice
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for Salad:

  • 2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • 2 cups blueberries


In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Place aside to cool.

To make the salad: Layer the following fruits in a large, clear glass bowl: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bananas, oranges, grapes, and blueberries. Pour the cooled sauce over the fruit; cover and chill for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Simple Orange Glaze

This glaze is light and flavorful. It uses fresh orange juice, not canned orange juice. It gives angel food cake or any type of loaf cake a nice kick.


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice, or as needed


In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, orange zest, and orange juice until smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Orange Banana Smoothie

It’s filling enough to eat for breakfast, and I recommend it!


  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ (8 ounce) container vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 4 cubes ice


Milk, oranges, bananas, sugar, salt, and yogurt are all combined in a blender. For approximately a minute, blend. Add ice cubes, then blend until completely smooth. Pour into glasses, then serve.

Jaffa Oranges’ Health Benefits

The vitamin and mineral content of jaffa oranges is high. They have a significant amount of vitamin C. Magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A and E are also present in these oranges.

Author Bio:

Hi, I’m Rana and I blog at ranasrecipe.com. My passion for food began very early in my life. And after managing a cafe, a granola business and helping other food businesses scale up, I found my true calling in creating wonderful recipes so that everyone can enjoy cooking as much as I do! Don’t forget to follow me on my social channels- instagram and pinterest.