Where to Buy Fresh Navel Oranges?
Terrifically sweet, juicy, and fully seedless are all characteristics of the classic Navel Orange. The easy-to-peel skin emits a floral aroma that soothes the senses. In fact, Navels are one of the world’s most loved fruits.
Navel Oranges are not indigenous to the United States. They came about as a result of a single branch mutation found on an orange tree in Bahia, Brazil in the early 1800s. In 1870 cuttings of Oranges Navel were sent to Washington DC for propagation. The fruits were then introduced to the rest of the United States and became an instant hit to the locals due to its many wonderful characteristics.
As seedless orange cultivars, Orange Navel trees can’t be grown from seeds. They need to be propagated via cuttings and grafting onto a compatible orange tree. This means that all sweet Navel Orange trees originate from the first tree found in a Brazilian monastery.
Navel Orange Varieties
It is easy to tell sweet Navel Oranges from other kinds of oranges because of the depression found at the blossom end of the fruit opposite the stem end. This depression encloses a secondary rudimentary fruit that looks like a human navel and is the source of the fruit’s name.
There are a few Navel Orange varieties grown all over the United States. The most popular varieties, and by far the best Navel Oranges, are the following:
- Washington Navel is the first variety introduced to the United States. It is sweet, seedless, and the origin of all Navels.
- Cara Cara or red Navel Orange is a mutation of Washington Navel with pink-red flesh that is sweeter and less acidic than other varieties. It also boasts a unique berry taste that is similar to strawberries and raspberries. Red Navel Oranges are in season during the holiday festivities, from December to April.
- Fukumoto is a Navel orange that originated in Japan. It is small to medium in size and has a sweet flavor and juicy flesh. Fukumoto Navel Orange season is from mid-October to late December.
- Skaggs Bonanza is a large Navel Orange that is bigger than the Washington Navel. It has a well-balanced ratio of tartness and sweetness and is available from November to January.
Different Navel Orange varieties are available in grocery markets, fruit stands, and organic markets from autumn until spring. However, if you wish to get the freshest, best quality Navel fruits it is best to buy them directly from farms or groves. You can call their office number directly or you can check their online websites to pre-order the oranges and get them once the harvest season begins.