We celebrate National Candied Orange Peel Day on May 4 every year. This is a day to celebrate candied orange peel, a sweet that’s been around for centuries. It can be eaten on its own, used as edible decoration, or even used as an ingredient in other sweets. There are many different recipes for candied orange peel but the primary ingredients are sugar, water, and orange peels. The process involves soaking the peel in sugar syrup and then letting it dry off. Candying fruits is a great way to convert them into desserts and preserve them.
History of National Candied Orange Peel Day
On National Candied Orange Peel Day, chefs and sweet aficionados all across the country celebrate the goodness and versatility of candied orange peel.
Candied fruits have been around for a long time. They are time-consuming to make but fairly simple. Candying fruits and fruit peels requires very few ingredients and can be prepared easily.
To candy orange peels, the first step is to remove the pith. The pith is the white part of the peel, on the inside. It is extremely bitter and will affect the flavor of the orange peels, regardless of the amount of sugar used. Then the peel is further cut up into strips, usually about a quarter-inch wide.
Sometimes, chefs prefer to remove the peel in a single long strip. This is especially useful when the candied orange peel is going to be used as a decorative element in the plating of a dessert or dish. The cut-up orange peel is added to a pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes. The water is then drained off and the peels are rinsed.
The next step is making the sugar syrup, which is done by dissolving one part sugar in one part water. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, the cut and boiled strips of orange peel are added to the pot of sugar syrup and allowed to soak in the syrup for about 45 minutes or so, until the peel is very soft. Then the excess water is drained off and the peels are set aside to dry, which might take a couple of days depending on the weather. These peels can be made before they are needed and can last up to a few months depending on the recipe. Your candied orange peels can also be frozen and used later.
National Candied Orange Peel Day timeline
People from the area now known as the Middle East first make candied fruits.
As sugar becomes cheaper, more people can afford it, and this makes candied fruit and fruit peels more accessible to common people.
Mass production of candied fruit and fruit peels becomes possible.
During the great depression, candying is an important way of preserving vegetables.
National Candied Orange Peel Day FAQs
Is candied orange peel good for you?
Candied orange peel has a lot of benefits, but it is sweet, so too much can cause problems.
Why are my candied orange peels bitter?
The pith is the bitter part, so if your candied orange peels taste bitter, then chances are you didn’t remove all the pith successfully.
How long can you keep candied orange peel?
If you store them in an airtight container, they can last for up to a month.
National Candied Orange Peel Day Activities
Candy some orange peel
What better way to get a head start on all your holiday baking than to get your candied orange peel ready a few months early? You’ll get the freshest fruits to candy and use in your baking months later.
Buy candied peel from a farmer’s market
If you’re not comfortable cooking, head over to your closest farmer’s market and get yourself some candied orange peel made by your local experts!
Bake something with candied orange peel
Fruit cakes typically call for candied orange peel so take a day to appreciate this versatile sweet and bake yourself a treat with it!
5 Important Facts About Candied Fruits
Ancient civilizations used sugar as a preservative
The use of sugar to preserve fruits and fruit peels dates as far back as ancient China and Mesopotamia, even if the candying process began with the Arabs in the Middle East.
The Italians popularized candied fruits
Traditional Sicilian cuisine was heavily influenced by the Arabs and candied fruits were an instant hit in Italy.
Before sugar, honey was used
The tradition of candying fruits has been around for a long time, and before sugar was popularized, honey was the main ingredient.
The industrial way takes longer
Factory-made candied fruits are soaked in sugar syrup of increasing concentrations to complete the preservation process and make the peels last a long time.
Kool-Aid was used to candy fruits
During the Great Depression, people had to use what they had, and when sugar was scarce, they made use of Kool-Aid and fruit juice to candy fruits and fruit peels.
Why We Love National Candied Orange Peel Day
It’s an excuse to eat some orange peel
Candied orange peel has loads of flavor and we love eating it! Snack on a piece while you’re decorating a cake or candying more orange peel.
It’s a great way to prepare for the holidays
The freshest fruits are available in summer, and we know candied orange peel keeps well. Take advantage and get candying so that when it’s time to do your holiday baking, there’s so much less to do.
We want to try candying
We want an excuse to soak fruits and fruit peels in sugar syrup. What better day to do so than National Candied Orange Peel Day?
National Candied Orange Peel Day dates