Orange trees grow in many parts of the world, and their brightly colored citrus fruit is well-known for its rich taste and vitamin C content. Many people, however, are disappointed to discover that the beautiful orange tree growing in their yard produces only sour-tasting fruit. As the old saying goes, when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands you sour oranges, sweeten them.

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Shake them up. Shake the sour oranges inside a medium-size container for several minutes, and then remove them from the container. Cut the oranges open over a bowl or napkin to avoid spilling the juice, and serve them. One school of thought suggests that dilution cuts down on the sour taste of oranges. Shaking the oranges in a container loosens their contents, freeing their juice.

Pile on the sugar. Adding sugar is one of the main ways to sweeten sour oranges; however, this method is recommended only for oranges that are mildly sour. To try this method, eat the oranges as you would grapefruit, by first cutting it in half and sprinkling sugar over each individual section. An option is to peel the oranges into individual sections and dip each section into a small bowl of sugar.

Make marmalade or other recipes. If your orange tree produces an extremely sour fruit, the best way to sweeten its oranges may be to use them in a recipe. Sour oranges may be used to create a wide variety of interesting drinks, dishes and other goodies. Many sour orange recipes call for the rind or juice of a sour orange Try your hand at making orange marmalade, orange-infused vodka, marinades or even sour orange pie.

Plant a different variety of orange tree. Many factors can influence the taste of oranges. If your orange tree produces only unbearably sour fruit, however, the reason is likely the tree’s variety. To produce oranges that are more sweet, plant a different variety of orange tree. Several kinds of orange trees are commonly available, including the Valencia orange tree, which is known for its sweet and juicy fruit.