The zesty, citrus whiff of oranges freshens up the January kitchen, drawing a line under heavy celebratory food, and lighting up the virtuous, but enticing path to a lighter, healthier diet. With the European citrus season in full swing, the art is choosing fruits that haven't been chemically waxed in preparation for storage and so retain some of their just-picked freshness.
Avoid the hard, immature fruits that are inflicted on the UK market, and home in on those that are softer, with matt, untreated, fungicide-free skins. Sicilian blood oranges (moro, tarocco), with their sumptuous purple juice, are the cream of the crop, and in my experience, rarely waxed with pesticides, because they are generally sold out within a couple of months. But any organic oranges will also have a soft skin and, with a bit of luck, some of that tree-ripe fragrance.