Oranges 101 Guide for Citrus Lovers

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Get to know your citrus by reading our Oranges 101 Guide!

Oranges 101 Guide

We enjoy discovering seasonal produce and learning about it. And when shopping we have found many different kinds of oranges, all of them now in season.

Florida and California both are leaders in growing oranges and other citrus fruits that come to our table thanks to dedicated farmers that carefully handpicked the oranges.

We live in Florida, so we are privileged in getting the freshest oranges in the market. Most of the orange groves are in the central and south Florida areas where there is less probability of freezing weather. North Florida and Lake County in Central Florida can suffer freeze weather during the winter.

The primary varieties in Florida are Navel, Hamlin, Pineapple, Ambersweet, and Valencia. The fresh orange season typically runs from October through June.

Oranges 101 Guide – Florida vs California Oranges

Get to know the different orange types

Raspberry or Blood Orange

Raspberry orange or also called blood orange has a hint of pink, red, or purple color on the inside thanks to the lycopene content. These oranges are slightly smaller than common oranges as well as sweeter and less acidic with a faint raspberry or blackberry flavor.

Florida grows this orange type, but only during the winter, colder weather. Hot warmer weather is not good for a blood orange crop. First blood orange crops originated in Sicily, and Spain and varieties include Tarocco, Moro (or Morro), and Sanguinello (or Sanguigno).

Meet the cara cara oranges

Cara Cara Oranges not a Grapefruit it is a Red Navel

Cara Cara oranges are specialty produce and a cross between two navels discovered in the 70s. This orange comes from a cross of the Washington and Bahia navels, found at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela in 1976.

This citrus is also called navel Cara Cara and it is grown mainly in California. Being the peak of the season December and April. However, this citrus crop is available to Florida growers since 1987.

Some Florida citrus farmers decided to abandon the planting of this orange due to unsuccessful attempts since this citrus crop is susceptible to dryness leaving the opportunity to California orange growers to have this orange available on that market. That is why in the East coast markets the Cara Cara oranges found are all from California.

The peel on this red navel is orange color but inside is pink color mimicking a ruby red grapefruit but it is sweet, not bitter, and has low acidity. And by no means, this orange is related to the grapefruit. ⁣

Navel Oranges are the Queen of Citrus

Navel Oranges, these are part of the winter citrus family. They’re seedless, peel easily, and are thought to be one of the world’s best-tasting oranges. And indeed they are!⁣

Peak season for Florida navel oranges is October through February, so if you haven’t enjoyed one of these visit your local supermarket and buy some!

Because the navel oranges mature during the winter months, are named holiday oranges too. Through the years this citrus fruit has become a staple in holiday fruit baskets coming from Florida.

Triple Orange Salad made with raspberry, cara cara and navel oranges

Join the conversation and tell us which is your favorite citrus fruit and what do you think about or oranges 101 guide.

Chef Adriana Martin
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