Forbidden Fruit?

“Don’t people just pick them and eat them?” is a question a lot of overseas visitors ask the locals when they see oranges hanging from the trees lining the streets of many Andalusian cities.

Just like Adam and Eve, you might be tempted to grasp this forbidden fruit. But you do so at your peril!

The first thing you need to know is that the oranges are not sweet. Indeed, they have an unpleasant, bitter taste so we don’t recommend eating them.

Secondly, you should be warned that they can actually be dangerous! There have been many cases of people being hurt by oranges falling on their heads as they walked or sat beneath an orange tree.

Thirdly, you should be aware that the oranges rightfully belong to the local government body responsible for them and, as such, any tampering with the oranges or trees could leave you open to prosecution.

So, what happens to these oranges? Well, every year the local governing body takes on temporary staff to harvest and bag the crop. Traditionally they were used to make marmalade. In recent years, however, they have often been incinerated and used for compost production.

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