King Orange: World's Largest Oranges Successfully Bred in Taiwan
It's good to be the king... the King Orange, that is. A new, supersized hybrid orange developed at Taiwan's Agricultural Research Institute is not only the world's largest, it also offers majestic overtones of sweet and sour citrus flavor.
Huang Ah-hsien has enjoyed a long and productive career at the Agricultural Research Institute in Taiwan; colleagues and students have dubbed him the “God of Citrus” due to his success in creating 170 different types of citrus fruit during his 20+ year tenure at the Institute.
With retirement approaching, however, Huang wanted to go out with a bang and it seems he'll get his wish. In a serendipitous twist of fate, Huang's 15-year-long quest to breed a new type of orange has come to fruition. Hail “The King”, a supersized orange that weighs 0.6kg (1.32 lb) and measures 10.5cm (4.2 inches) in diameter: about the size of an average person's face!
Though Huang is understandably protective of his methodology, he has revealed that the King Orange is the result of a carefully managed hybridization of selected American and Japanese oranges.
Hybrids are nothing new when it comes to oranges, by the way, as botanists generally believe the first true oranges originated several thousand years ago when ancient Chinese farmers hybridized a Mandarin orange and a Pomelo.
Size isn't everything, of course, and when it comes to oranges taste is the true barometer of success. The King Orange passes the taste test too, according to the director of Agricultural Research Institute. Reports indicate the King Orange is both sweet and sour, and as such is a symbol of good fortune for the Chinese New Year. (via Want China Times and Taiwan Today)
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