Best Pairings of Navel Oranges and Ruby Red Grapefruit
Citrus fruits have always graced our tables and countertops at home and even in business settings. It is not just because of their appetizing vivid colors and appealing citrus aroma, but also because they are tasty, refreshing and utterly nutritious and healthy.
But did you know that aside from the fine qualities I have mentioned above, citrus has another fascinating feature you don’t usually see in other fruits: they are prone to mutations and some of the hybrids they have created are truly wonderful!
Parents and Hybrids
Citrus is as ancient as 7 million years old. This long history of citrus was confirmed when fossilized leaves were found in the Yunnan Province of China in 2009, and studied by scientists. However, not all citrus are as old. According to studies, there are three primary citrus ancestors: citrons, mandarins and pomelos. All other citrus fruits we now find in the market are all hybrids and all came from these three. This simple lineage produced many impressive new breeds.
Two popular hybrids you can find in the market today are the brightly colored, sweet-flavored navels and the different grapefruit varieties.
Navel orange Facts
- Sweet navel orange is a natural mutation that occurred on a Laranja Selecta Orange tree. This mutation was found in Brazil sometime around 1820s.
- The navel fruit is a seedless variety and can only be propagated by grafting. All navel orange trees actually originated from one single Brazilian tree.
- You can easily tell an orange navel from other varieties by looking at the apex of the fruit, where you will find a rudimentary second navel fruit that looks like a human navel giving it its name.
- Navel orange sizes differ according to the cultivar. Most navels are medium in size but there are also some large navel orange cultivars like the Robertson and Skaggs Bonanza.
- Although already a hybrid, navels produced another hybrid called Cara Cara Orange which is a red navel orange. Its outside appearance is similar to other navels but once you cut open a red navel orange you will see pinkish-red flesh that tastes sweeter combined with the zing of berries.
- Fresh Navel oranges are available as early as November but are in peak from January way until April.
Grapefruits may be popular and in demand now, but they were disliked when they were first introduced in the United States because they were unattractive, acrid and too sour compared to the popular sweet oranges. However, thanks to some enthusiasts and the discovery of the ruby red grapefruit, people have given this healthy fruit another shot at fame.
- There are a couple of grapefruit varieties you may choose from such as white grapefruit, yellow grapefruit, and the red grapefruit cultivars with the white ones being more sour and tart than the red varieties.
- After the discovery of the Texas ruby red grapefruit other red Texas grapefruit varieties were created like the Rio Star and Star Ruby. Generally, the redder the flesh the sweeter the grapefruit, except for Oro Blanco which is a white, sweet grapefruit cultivar.
Good grapefruit cultivars are in season from October to June, but are sometimes available all year round.