A group of men with boxes of Jaffa oranges. Jaffa port. Courtesy of Anat Rosen.
We all know the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". However, between the two World Wars, people sought health benefits in another fruit - oranges. It was said that eating two oranges a year would protect you from various infectious diseases, such as the flu.
Unfortunately, some residents of Lithuania were not able to afford two oranges a year, as high customs duties made citrus fruits a luxury commodity. Oranges were sold individually for 60-90 cents, which would probably be about 3 euros today. The most popular were Jaffa oranges from Palestine - they stood out for their juiciness.
Oranges could be bought at markets and were of interest to both city dwellers and residents of shtetls. The press vividly described the experience of eating an orange: "Many taste the oranges right here. They eat them like apples, together with the peel. At first, they pucker up, but then they quickly recover after tasting the juicy center. And the golden juice drips heavily onto a handkerchief..."