An early reference to Oranges in the Canary Islands and especially Telde, Gran Canaria, was in 1583 when Thomas Nicholas from London [born 1532] wrote his book “ Islands of Canaria with their strange fruits and commodities”. There he referred to “This Iland hath singular good wine, especially in the towne of Telde, and sundrie sortes of good frutes, as Batata, Mellons, peares, Ayples, Orenges, Lemmons, Pomegranads, Figs, Peaches of diverse sortes, and many other fruites”.
Over 300 years later in 1911, Lady Du Cane’s two un-chaperoned English daughters, Florence and Ella, travelled extensively in the Canary Islands writing and painting for their book “The Canary Islands” in which they refer to “Telde, famous for its oranges – said to be the best in the world.”
Telde, from 1351until1404, had been the “Catholic capital” of the Eastern Province [Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuetaventura] of the Catholic Diócesis Canariense following Pope Clement VI’s Papal Bull of 1344 encouraging the conquest of the Canary Islands by the Count of Clermont, Admiral of France, in order to encourage missionary conversion of the indigeneuos population. In 1351 the Pope then encouraged the Majorcans under their King James III, then annexed to Aragon, to join in the fray before the Spanish finally flexed their muscles and firearms.
Later urban expansion from Las Palmas in the 20th century resulted in a great reduction of the orange farms around Telde although there are still rewarding walks to be had in the area and nearby which pass some of the remaining orange groves.
In 2012 it was the three hectare [7.5 acres] orange farm of Senor Jose Medina at El Ejido,Telde which the local tasting jury awarded first prize where he has been farming for 30 years [since he was in his 50’s] with a 2012 production of around 70,000 kilos from about 1,200 trees. The fine Telde orange was also celebrated at the annual marathon.