Why Are Cara Cara Oranges Pink?
It’s a Blood Orange…it’s a Ruby Grapefruit…nope, it’s a Cara Cara Orange!
Originally discovered at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Venezuela in the mid-1970s, Cara Cara Oranges today are grown primarily in California. When they first arrived in the United States they were only sold in select markets, and even now they can be difficult to find in conventional grocery stores.
If you’ve given Cara Cara Oranges a pass in your local grocery store because you prefer to stick with what you know, you don’t know what you’re missing. Cara Cara Navel Oranges (yep, they’re a type of navel orange, which means they’re seedless just like the Classic Navel Oranges you’ve known and loved all your life) have a sweet, berry-like flavor that makes them a great choice for recipes of all kinds. Plus, the deep-pink flesh the orange peel is hiding makes slices of Cara Caras a striking garnish!
What causes that pink color, anyway?
Cara Cara Oranges are not to be confused with Blood Oranges, which get their deeper, redder color from a type of antioxidant called anthocyannis. The Cara Cara’s lovely pink color comes from another antioxidant called lycopene.
What’s so special about lycopene?
Lycopene is a plant nutrient that gives red and pink fruits (such as tomatoes, watermelons and Pink Grapefruit) that characteristic pigment. Lycopene is also responsible for that unique, Cara Cara Orange flavor, which is less acidic and more berry-like than other orange varieties (including the Classic Navel).
Are Cara Caras better for you than Classic Navel Oranges?
What pinky-red color and floral-sweet flavor aren’t all lycopene adds to the Cara Cara. This antioxidant has been linked to health benefits all kinds, ranging from heart health to protection against sunburns and certain types of cancers.
Here are just some of the possible benefits lycopene provides:
- Lycopene is a strong antioxidant that can protect your body against oxidative stress and offer some protection from certain environmental toxins and chronic diseases.
- A diet rich in lycopene may help prevent prostate cancer, lunch cancer, breast cancer and cancer of the kidneys.
- Lycopene may help improve cholesterol levels and reduce your likelihood of developing or dying prematurely from heart disease.
- Lycopene may help increase your skin’s defense against sunburns and damage caused by UV rays. However, it is no replacement for sunscreen.
- Lycopene may help reduce feelings of pain and have beneficial effects on your eyes, brain and bones.
So when you eat a Cara Car Navel Orange, you get the benefits provided by the lycopene as well as the orange’s other benefits! Cara Cara Oranges are low calorie, fat-free, and great sources of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium.
Where can I buy Cara Cara Oranges?
If you can’t find them in your local grocery while they’re in season, you’re best bet is to buy Cara Cara Oranges online. In fact, if you want the freshest and best quality Cara Cara Navel Oranges available anywhere, you’ll order them from Pittman & Davis!
Exotic and exquisitely sweet, our beautiful Cara Cara Navel Oranges are bright orange outside, beautiful deep rosy red on the inside, and still on the tree when you order them! They’re then handpicked and sent directly to you or a loved one for a taste sensation no one can forget. Expand your citrus world and give Cara Caras a try!