Thursday, March 14, 2024

The Luck of the Orange-ish


Ahh, Saint Patrick's Day approaches, laddies!  It's a time when we can all be Irish for a day and revel in the luck o'the leprechauns. The tradition we are all familiar with is to wear green--lest ye get pinched--for good luck, and to follow the rainbow to its end for a pot o' gold.  

But did ye know that in Ireland, green isn't the only color associated with Saint Patty's Day. Saint Patrick himself actually wore blue, and as such blue was the original color associated with the holiday. The Irish flag boasts three colors: Green, white, and orange. These colors represent harmony between Ireland's two major religions--Catholic and Protestant-- and as such it is not uncommon to see the color orange worn during the month of March, and not just sported as orange leprechaun beards. While this might not be the case for some regions of Ireland where the intended religious harmony is not yet realized, orange can be a fun main or accent color for Saint Patrick's celebrations in other areas.  That goes for foods as well: in addition to "green-ifying" dishes and even beer, we can also serve orange-colored foods, and Irish eyes will be a-smiling.

Eating the Rainbow
One of the most famous traditions associated with Saint Patrick's Day is to "follow the rainbow" to find a pot o' gold. What if the "gold" you are seeking is in the rainbow itself?  You can use an assortment of citrus fruits to cover the red, orange, and yellow parts of the rainbow color spectrum and then fill in the green and blue with other types of fruits. 

Where's the gold, you ask? Easy: it's your good health, the greatest treasure of them all. And since we are talking edible sources of gold here, here's a creative St. Patrick's Day decorating idea: Take a leprechaun-styled pot, fill it with juicy tangerines and voila! You have a pot o' gold!

Cheers to Your Health

Another famous tradition associated not only with Saint Patrick's Day but also the Irish spirit in general is, well, spirits. Fun drinks enjoyed in moderation exemplify the camaraderie and warmth of the Irish culture, made famous by pubs and live music.  What better citrus-based drink to enjoy during this time of the year than the Drunk Leprechaun or its liquor-free version the Green Leprechaun?  While the drink itself may be green, its delicious flavor comes primarily from orange juice, and it is garnished with a juicy slice of navel orange.

To make it, simply mix equal parts orange juice and grape juice (alcohol-free version) or orange juice with vodka and blue curacao, stir, and garnish with a juicy slice or three of navel orange (and maybe a maraschino cherry). Slainte! 

Orange Is the New Green
Most oranges are, well, orange, but some varieties in Asia have green skin even when ripe, and all citrus starts out as a green-skinned fruit on the tree.  While the flesh of oranges and grapefruits can be yellow, green, or pink, a popular St. Patrick's Day tradition is to dye foods green.  A healthy way to do this is with another superfood: spinach!  Simply puree fresh spinach with water, strain out the pulp, and soak your citrus pieces or slices in the green liquid for a couple of hours. 

Move over, green eggs and ham: here come green oranges and grapefruits!

Happy St. Patrick's Day from all of us here at Florida Fruit Shippers.


Why Do Some People Wear Orange on St. Patrick's Day? (

Why Some Wear Orange on St. Patrick's Day (Facts) (

Drunk Leprechaun - Shake Drink Repeat

Blue Cura├žao - What is it, What Does it Taste Like and More - The Kitchen Magpie

DIY Natural Food Dyes (

Why is my orange green? | Plant Scientist (

Want to be notified when we post more articles? Sign up for our mailing list!

© 1996-2013 Vegetable Kingdom Inc., PO Box 530456, St. Petersburg, FL 33747 All rights reserved.
Florida Fruit Shippers® is a registered trademark of Vegetable Kingdom Inc.