Norwegians are expected to consume fully 5,000 tons of oranges this week, as they fill fruit bowls and backpacks with the popular citrus fruit. Norway, report state food officials, tops international statistics for consumption of oranges at Eastertime.
It’s a tradition dating back to the first imports of oranges to Norway 100 years ago. Toril Gulbrandsen of the state information office for fruit and vegetables (Opplysningskontoret for frukt og grønnsaker) told newspaper Dagsavisen that if all the oranges consumed this week were lined up, they’d stretch for 1,400 kilometers, or all the way along the E6 highway from Oslo to Harstad.
Gulbrandsen was merely trying to illustrate how many oranges are bought and eaten in Norway at this time of year, as skiers stock up on their vitamin C. “We also eat oranges when out skiing, sitting against the sunny wall of a hytte or reading a crime novel,” Dagsavisen reported, referring to a few other well-known Easter traditions.
The fruit’s vitamin C is also said to help guard against sunburn, an advantage this year when the sun has been shining brilliantly over most of southern Norway for the past several days.