What are the different types of Navel Orange?
Oranges are part of American’s daily diet, mostly eaten during breakfast, and they are consumed in various ways such as fresh fruit, orange juice, jams and jellies, and desserts. Without these sweet, tangy goodies our day would seem incomplete.
The common orange cultivar that graces our home countertops is the seedless, flavorful and easy-to-peel sweet Navel Orange. Unlike other orange varieties, you can easily tell navels apart because of the navel-like formation found at one end of the fruit, which is actually a rudimentary second fruit.
Navel Orange Varieties
Navel oranges are popular because they look appetizing inside and out. The somewhat-loose peel has a bright-orange color that can brighten your day. The vibrant orange flesh is sweet and minimally tart, plus it contains plenty of juice without being drippy. What makes it even better is that it is seedless and the sections are firm making them great for snaking out of hand.
But did you know that there are actually a couple Navel Orange varieties you can choose from? Let me introduce the most popular navel orange varieties and the oranges in season.
- Fukumoto – is a small to medium-sized, sweet and really juicy navel orange that boasts of a reddish-orange rind. It originated from Japan and was introduced to the United States in 1983. This variety is an early maturing orange and is available from mid-October to late December.
- Robertson – this cultivar is very much similar to Washington Navel Orange – except that they are larger in size and matures earlier than Washington Navels. It was first discovered in 1925 by Roy Robertson growing as a limb sport on a Washington Navel tree in an orchard near Redlands, Ca. Due the its tree-size and high yield rate, Robertson Navel Orange is a popular container-grown tree.
- Skaggs Bonanza – like other navel cultivars, Skaggs Bonanza is a mutation found on a Washington Navel tree in Strathmore, California. This fruit is medium in size but compared to Washington and other cultivars, Skaggs Bonanza has very thin, yellow to orange rind that is difficult to peel. It is seedless, juicy and has a balanced ratio of sweetness and tartness, and is available early in the season.
- Cara Cara Oranges – you might not have had the chance to try a Cara Cara orange, so you may ask what cara cara oranges are. Cara Cara oranges are mid-season oranges that are available from December to May. You may mistake them for regular Navels because of their outside appearance, but cut them open and you will see how they differ. While regular Navels have bright orange flesh, oranges cara cara have a distinct pinkish-red flesh and are known for being extremely sweet and having less acidity than other Navels. What’s more, Cara Cara oranges offer a flavor that is reminiscent of raspberries and strawberries.
- Riverside – a cutting of the original Washington Navel Orange that was sent to Riverside, California in 1870 that spurted the growth of commercial orange growing in California. This is a seedless, honest-to-goodness navel orange that sprouted the rest of navel orange cultivars in the market.
Navel Orange Nutrition
Typically Navel oranges contain about 69 calories, 3.1 grams of prescribed daily dietary fiber, 17.5 grams of carbohydrates, 1.3 grams of protein and less than 0.2 grams of fat. They also have high Vitamin A and C content making them a very powerful antioxidant.