What’s the difference between Navel Oranges and Valencia Oranges?
Oranges are one of nature’s wonders; they are naturally tasty, refreshingly flavorful and utterly healthy. However, although all oranges are great and have numerous benefits, all orange varieties are not created equal. Some orange varieties are sweeter while some are more tart. Some oranges are small and some are big, while some are seedless and others not. Also, some oranges have tightly adherent rind, while some peal easily.
Season of Oranges
In the juicy world of oranges there are two reigning cultivars, the Navel Orange and the Valencia Orange.
- Florida Valencia oranges are sweet summer oranges named after Valencia, Spain popular for its sweet citrus produce.
- They are available from March up until June and you can buy Valencia oranges from fruit stands and grocery stores during their seasonal peak from July to October or get Valencia oranges online to get them straight from the farm.
- Although they contain a few seeds, they are the perfect juicing orange because they are juicier than other oranges. Furthermore, the juice is invigorating, brightly colored, has a well-balanced sweet-tart flavor that will help you beat the heat of summer.
- Valencias Limonin, which is a natural compound and known anti-oxidant that when exposed to air converts enzymes and becomes bitter, is found in the seeds so you can juice the fruit, store it in the fridge and enjoy it for a few days, even weeks.
- Navels on the other hand are seedless winter oranges that are in season from December through March with peak in January and February.
- They taste sweeter than Valencias and are great to munch on fresh out of hand or tossed in a salad.
- You can easily distinguish Navel oranges from other oranges by their trademark “Navel” on the fruit’s blossom end, which is actually an undeveloped second “twin” fruit opposite its stem.
- Unlike Valencia oranges, Navels are better eaten fresh rather than juiced because the Limonin is found in the flesh of Navels so the juice turns bitter within 30 minutes.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are mainly produced in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas, with Florida leading the orange juice industry.
Navels and Valencias are both grown in Florida and California, but the Navel is widely grown in California while Valencia predominates in Florida.