This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
In Florida, and many other parts of the country, the orange is cut in halves and its juice and pulp are passed to the mouth with a teaspoon. In Havana the orange is served whole on the table, peeled down to the juicy "meat" of the fruit, and you present the golden ball to your lips on the prongs of a fork.
The best hotel plan of serving is this: the waiter with the point of a penknife divides the peel only, in four quarters without quite severing them at the bottom, then removes the peel from the orange which he further pares of its white coat; he then puts the orange back in its peel which is like four leaves to a flower, and so presents it to the guests. Another way is to peel the oranges, divesting them as much as possible of the white inside rind as well, and pile them on a folded napkin in the fruit basket or compotiere. A method in advance of that for a family table or party at one table, is to take, say, 4 or 6 oranges, peel them carefully, removing all the rind; then pull the natural sections half apart, dividing them about half way; stick a clove in the top point of each section; bunch all the oranges together on a handsomely folded napkin in a compotiere, and with the loosened sections slightly spreading outwards the whole looks like one, like some novel sort of fruit or flower, and the further separation is easily accomplished with a teaspoon.
"Joseph gave me a sample of his work at my house.
He sent my servant out for two oranges and a bunch of violets. He took the orange and cut it with his penknife so as to resemble a basket, deftly extracted the fruit, cut out all the eatable part, replaced it in the basket, poured the wasted juice over this, added kirsch and sugar. Then with a sharp penknife he cut a longitudinal slit in the handle of the basket, and inserted the violets in this, making of the orange-basket an entremet, pretty enough to be served on any table. Whilst performing this feat of culinary legerdemain (for it was done so deftly and expeditiously that it really was legerdemain'), he called my attention to the fact that he never once touched the fruit with his hands".
"An orange tree will bear fruit until it arrives at the age of 150 years, and there are instances recorded of orange trees bearing when 500 years old. In Malta and Naples, 15,000 oranges have been picked from a single tree; and there is one noted tree in the Sandwich Islands that has been estimated to bear 20,000 in one season.
Yellow jam made of 3 oranges, 1 lemon, 1 lb. sugar, 1/4 lb. butter, 8 yolks, 1 egg; sugar juice and grated rinds boiled together, butter and eggs added; simmered. Like honey, for filling mirletons, fanchonettes, cheese-cakes, dar-ioles, talmouses, turnovers, tarts, jelly cakes.
Made of 3/4 lb. sugar, 1 oz. gelatine, juice of 15 Tangerine oranges, 2 sour oranges, 1 lemon, peel of 1 orange; gelatine dissolved in hot water, sugar, peel, juice added, strained; to make 3 pints by adding water; set in moulds.