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Killer Navel Oranges and Why They have that Name

Citrus and Navel orange season is ramping up and we are excited to offer Navel Oranges, Cara Cara Navels (AKA Red Navels), Valencia oranges, and Blood oranges for you to enjoy and send to everyone on your list!  Do you ever wonder why Navel oranges are called that?  Why can oranges be red? Check out below for a little information about this winter citrus superstar.  

Why are navel oranges called that?  

The Navel Orange produces a second smaller fruit (near the end of the orange) that forms on the outside and resembles a human navel.  Our kids think this is very funny and love it when the little fruit slices that appear on the inside are large enough to eat!  In addition to being known for its navel, the Navel orange is appreciated for its seedless status.

Where are Navels grown?

Navel oranges grow in Brazil, Australia, China, and the U.S. (CA, FL, and TX), So it is worth a look to see where your fruit is grown.  At FruitShare, we partner with organic citrus growers in CA and FL and all of our products are certified organic.  The first Navel orange cuttings (which you need to propagate the trees) were introduced in Riverside CA in 1870 and has become a fabled part of Californias history.  The Navel continues to be a widely popular citrus and a large part of citrus production in the U.S. because of their long growing season.

When are Navel oranges in-season?

Navel oranges are in season in the US from November to April (December thru March being peak).  At FruitShare we will carry Navels as long as they are in-season and eating well.  We also carry a wide variety of in-season citrus including Minneolas, tangerines, Satsuma mandarins, Clementines, Valencia oranges and more!  With our seasonal fruit delivery, you can always find the perfect fruit gift.

When are Navel oranges ripe?

States must follow fruit harvesting guidelines which require oranges to be mature when harvested.  It is typical for Navels to be harvested ripe when green in color.  The fruit then is gassed with Ethylene to “de-green” it and turn it into the expected orange color.  At FruitShare we avoid the early harvests which can be less sweet.  That's how our Navel oranges have killer flavor.

Can Navel oranges be red inside?

The flesh of a Navel orange is characteristically orange in color.  If you cut into an orange and find it red, you are likely looking at a Cara Cara navel or a Blood orange.  Cara Cara navels are nicknamed the “red navel" and have a pink rose colored slices.  They are sweet and a little less acidic than Navels.  Blood oranges can range from red-tinged to dark red when sliced into depending upon variety.  Both Cara Cara navels and Blood oranges are fantastic eating oranges too!

Blood oranges differ from Navels in their distinct color and depending upon the variety, tangy or sweetness.  We find that the Tangy flavor of Blood oranges mellows somewhat over time.  Blood oranges, with their distinct color, have become a favorite of chefs and foodies everywhere.

If you love Navel oranges and they are not in season, consider sampling one of our other oranges including the Valencia orange, Blood Orange, or the Cara Cara Navel.  The Valencia, for example, is a juicy sweet orange available during the later spring and summer months. 

Where to buy Navel oranges and Navel orange gifts?

Luckily, Fruitshare has Navel orange gifts in 3 sizes for everyone on your Christmas or Holiday list.  If you are looking for fruit delivery, FruitShare is your place!   Also look for Cara Cara navels, Minneolas, Honeybells, Clementines, Satsumas, Valencia oranges, Blood oranges, Tangerines, and more on our website.

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