Where are Navel Oranges Grown in Texas?
If you’re in the mood for an orange, the sweet, seedless, easy-to-peel Navel Orange is always a classic. Perfect for eating out of hand and not too drippy, this tangy-sweet snack sections up beautifully and also works in many recipes. No wonder sweet Navel Oranges are world’s most popular orange variety!
How did Navel Oranges get their name?
Since Navel Oranges are seedless, they must be grown through grafting. All navel orange trees are genetically identical clones of the original fruit discovered on the grounds of a Brazilian monastery in 1820, where the first fruits spontaneously appeared on a seeded orange tree. What makes the navel orange unique is the small hole (which resembles a human navel) at the blossom end of the fruit. A second, undeveloped fruit grows in this “navel” of the larger fruit.
Where are the best Navel Oranges grown?
You’ve no doubt seen Navel Oranges from Florida and California in your local grocery store (in fact, many Navel Oranges are identified as either “Florida Oranges” or “California Oranges”), but did you know that Navel Oranges are grown in the state of Texas as well?
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that applies to oranges as well! Grown in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas Navel Oranges are known for their distinctive size. There’s a good chance you can have an opportunity to buy Texas oranges no matter where you live, because Texas is one of the few states that supplies Navel Oranges to both the East and West Coasts.
Because of the climate, Texas Navel Oranges are available all year, with a peak season of November through early May. However, the availability of Texas Navel Oranges depends largely on the type of weather growers must endure during the peak growing season. While the Rio Grande Valley region has the subtropical climate and super-fertile soil needed for orange trees to thrive, changes in temperature can negatively affect the number of navel orange crops the trees will produce.
Where can I buy Navel Oranges grown in Texas?
You’ll need to keep a sharp eye out if you’re looking for them in the grocery store – despite the centralized location of the growing area, Texas Navel Oranges tend to be enjoyed most in Texas, specifically the Rio Grande Valley region. This is because the fruit is very sensitive to freezing and cold temperatures.
Located in the southernmost tip of the state, the Rio Grande Valley has rich soil, hot temperatures, and plenty of sunshine, which Navel Orange trees crave. They also tend to have cooler nights, however, and when temperatures drop, sugar production in fruit trees ceases, slowing down overall production. Because of this the Texas Navel Orange production tends to be smaller, leading to the bulk of the crop being kept in-state.
Most of the Texas Navel Oranges are grown in the Rio Grande Valley, which is at the southernmost tip of Texas. Since Navel Oranges require lots of sun and high heat to develop sweeter flesh and high levels of sugar, the Rio Grande Valley region is the perfect place to grow it. Couple that with the rich soil in the region, Texas Navel Oranges has become a local favorite and most of the production in the State stays in the State.
How can Texas Navel Oranges be used?
Texas Navel Oranges can be used in any recipe that calls for oranges. Since they are some of the sweetest and plumpest oranges available, they work exceptionally well as topping for fresh and fruit salads. The juice is especially tasty so long as it’s drunk while still very fresh (because Navel Oranges contain limonin, their juice tends to turn sour after half an hour). The fruit can be used to create sauces, added to bread, and cakes, and the zest used to make marmalade.
How can I enjoy Texas Navel Oranges if I don’t live in Texas?
Pittman & Davis has quite a number of Texas-themed treats you can choose from as a gift for yourself or someone else! Our Texas fruit gift baskets and boxes are sure to contain Texas Navel Oranges, along with other Lone Star State goodies including Ruby Red Grapefruit, Smoked Meats, Baked Goods, Spices, Sauces, and more. Try them and taste the difference for yourself!
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