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The Unique Laraha Orange

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the unique laraha orange

Curacao's sizzling sun and arid climate

Curacao's sizzling sun and arid climate

Shortly after the conquest of the island in 1499, the Spaniards planned for, amongst others, an agricultural development of Curacao. One of the plants they carried with care on their long sea voyages from Spain was the so-called “Valencia” orange. Historical records show that someone named Pérez Maestre brought the first seeds from Hispaniola in 1527. When the Dutch arrived they found small groves in some areas of the island. The sizzling sun and arid climate were too much for the colorful sweet oranges though, and this once juicy fruit then turned into a kind of bitter, almost inedible product.

 

The project was forgotten and the "misfits" of the once proud "Valencia" oranges grew wild and abandoned. Not even our infamous goats would touch them. But this was a blessing in disguise because decades later (the exact date is lost in history), planters discovered that the peels of this orange, thoroughly dried by the sun, contained etheric oils with an extraordinary pleasing fragrance. In order to not let crops go to waste they started developing their own recipe to share with friends and family. 

The Golden Orange of Curacao

The Golden Orange of Curacao

By this time, the stepchild of the Valencia orange had received its own Latin botanical name, Citrus Aurantium Currassuviensis, meaning “Golden Orange of Curacao”. In the local tongue simply named Laraha. Rumor has it that the name Laraha comes from the Arabic word Naranj, meaning orange. The Spaniards then picked up this term during the Arab invasion.

The Laraha tree is our hero and the reason why it is represented in our logo and why our bottles are orange-shaped. A Curacao Liqueur does not have to be made in Curacao, unlike products like Champagne and Tequila. But we are proud of our island and proud to be the Curacao of Curacao.

Curacao's sizzling sun and arid climate

Curacao's sizzling sun and arid climate

Shortly after the conquest of the island in 1499, the Spaniards planned for, amongst others, an agricultural development of Curacao. One of the plants they carried with care on their long sea voyages from Spain was the so-called “Valencia” orange. Historical records show that someone named Pérez Maestre brought the first seeds from Hispaniola in 1527. When the Dutch arrived they found small groves in some areas of the island. The sizzling sun and arid climate were too much for the colorful sweet oranges though, and this once juicy fruit then turned into a kind of bitter, almost inedible product.

 

The project was forgotten and the "misfits" of the once proud "Valencia" oranges grew wild and abandoned. Not even our infamous goats would touch them. But this was a blessing in disguise because decades later (the exact date is lost in history), planters discovered that the peels of this orange, thoroughly dried by the sun, contained etheric oils with an extraordinary pleasing fragrance. In order to not let crops go to waste they started developing their own recipe to share with friends and family.