Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Parson Brown Ambrosia

Parson Brown is sweet, round, and tall.  Parson Brown is a common orange tree that may reach 25 feet in optimum growing condition, climate, and soil.  It is said that this very sweet orange originated in Asia. The Parson Brown oranges were carried by traders to the Mediterranean around the 1450's.  Two hundred years later, it was a widely known luscious fruit, a fruit for the gods, and arrived in Florida via South America and Mexico.

It is one of the most commonly grown orange in Florida with 200 million boxes annually; however, a freeze may reduce the crop by 20 to 40%. 

The one Parson Brown tree in the Back Forty Garden and Park has been covered up with a frost blanket the last few nights and a utility lamp has aided in keeping freezing temperatures and frost from damaging the fruit.

The Parson Brown orange has a thin tight peel covering its round body.  It is not free of seeds.  It is best cut up in quarters and eaten over the sink.  It is a most delicious juicy orange. 

When preparing ambrosia, I have found that it is rather easy to thinly slice both ends of the orange with a paring knife and to stand it on one end and cut away the peel including the white pith that is bitter.  Then I cut the orange into bite size wedges over a bowl to save the juice.

It is my understanding that Ambrosia is a Southern addition to any festive table.  In its best and most simple form, the Ambrosia consists of cut up orange wedges layered with coconut flakes, no sugar needed when using Parson Brown.  The oranges provide enough of their own juice to make it moist and luscious.  To make it sinfully luscious, add a few table spoons of Orange Liqueur.
Parson Brown Covered Up

Some folks add pineapple, bananas, apples and heaven knows what other fruit along with the coconut to make their ambrosia.  I like pineapple and bananas and I sometimes do add them to the Parson Brown Ambrosia.

The Parson Brown tree is full of bright yellow oranges that are now ready for picking as soon as the weather gets warmer and I can remove the frost blankets.  They store very well in the fridge or in a cool area but they don't last very long in our house. 

Stay warm.
Tank you for visiting my blog.

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