What are cara cara navel oranges? Cara cara navel oranges, are a variety of navel oranges. They were first discovered in 1976 at Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela and later introduced in Florida and then in California during the 1980s.
This special orange is juicy, lower in acidic taste, seedless, and, some say, has a berry like flavor. The name “cara cara” means “beloved” in Italian.
When selecting cara cara navel oranges, make sure the fruit is firm, heavy for its size, and has a pleasant sweet smell. Scars or imperfect coloring do not reveal anything about the fruit’s flavor. When storing, keep in a cool, well-ventilated place. They can last 3 to 4 days at normal room temperature and up to two weeks in your refrigerator.
While you can get oranges year round in the grocery store, and even at many farmers markets, Winter is the peek season for California’s cara cara navel oranges, and many other citrus – like blood oranges, pomelos, mandarins, and oro blanco grapefruits.
From the major growing regions, South African Cara caras are ready for market starting in August, Venezuelan fruits arrive in October and Californian fruits make their seasonal debut in late November and are available through April.
These beautifully colored beauties are bursting with vitamin C just when the cooler and damp weather has us shut up indoors and more susceptible to getting sick. Just one Cara Cara orange provides 150% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C and 30% of vitamin A. Because our bodies cannot store vitamin C, it is important for us to regularly consume it. Oranges are also an important source of fiber, especially when eaten whole.
In addition the cara cara orange is a good source of folate and potassium, and a natural source of Lycopene, the disease-fighting antioxidant that may be helpful in preventing some cancers and protecting against cardiovascular disease. Lycopene, in fact, gives the fruit its dark, rich coloring.
On a rare occasion, the trees will yield multicolored-leafed twigs instead of their usual green leaves. If the twigs are left to grow and fruit, they can sometimes produce fruits with a striped rind.
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