What is the difference between a Cara Cara and Navel Orange?
The outside appearance of a Cara Cara Orange is very similar to the sweet Navel Orange. Both are medium-large oranges with slightly thick, bright orange, glossy rinds that are roughly pitted and somewhat pebbled. While they may look the same from the outside, if you cut them open side by side, you would immediately notice the difference between a Navel and a Cara Cara Orange. Navel oranges have deep orange flesh, while Cara Cara Oranges have more pink-to-red flesh. Besides their color, there are other differences between these two oranges.
- Navel oranges are sweet winter oranges that originated as a “bud sport,” or single branch mutation, on a sour orange tree found in the garden of a monastery in Brazil in the early 1800s.
- The Cara Cara orange is actually a type of Navel orange since it is the result of cross pollination between two Navel Oranges: the Brazilian Bahia Navel Orange and the Washington Navel orange. The first Cara Cara orange was found growing on a Washington Navel Orange tree at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela in 1976.
- Navel oranges have seedless flesh that is deep orange, firm, and delicious. It has a refreshingly sweet taste and emits a pleasant floral aroma. This type of orange is great eaten fresh, juiced, or tossed in a salad and added in desserts. Aside from the supreme taste, Navel oranges are also a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and other nutrients that can help enhance the immune system and improve our overall health.
- Cara Cara oranges have seedless, gorgeous, pinkish-red and orange flesh that resembles the color of a Ruby Red Grapefruit all thanks to the natural presence of lycopene. They are sweeter than other oranges and have complex citrus aromatics. On top of that, Cara Cara oranges have tender, succulent, intensely juicy flesh. Because of the ideal balance of sweetness and acidity, Cara Cara oranges are suitable for fresh eating, making jams and sauces, baking, and are even ideal for cocktails, curds, and vinaigrette.
- Cara Cara oranges are available from winter into early spring or from December well into May.
- Navel oranges are winter oranges in season from November to June.
Cara Cara Nutrition Facts vs Navel Orange Nutrition Facts: