What’s the difference between Sugar Belles and Honeybells?
What are Honeybells?
Also known as the honeybell tangelo, the honeybell orange is a tangerine/grapefruit hybrid that combines the sweet and sour taste of both fruits. They’re very juicy, with a loose, easy-to-peel skin that makes them easier to eat than other oranges. You can easily recognize honeybell oranges by their stem-end neck, which gives them the bell shape from which they take their name. Florida honeybells are bright red-orange in color when fully mature.
What are Sugar Belles?
Developed in the 1980s by University of Florida researchers hoping to create a citrus variety resistant to greening disease, sugar belle oranges are a cross between a honeybell orange and a clementine. Sugar belle citrus fruits are seedless and easy to peel, making them perfect for snacking, but their sweet flavor, bright aroma also make them ideal for juicing, in salads, desserts and other dishes.
Sugar belle fruit contains high levels of phenolics, a compound believed to help fend off citrus greening. Sugar belles are also very high in vitamin C – 40% higher that most comparable citrus varieties, making them a nutritional powerhouse.
How do sugar belles and honeybells differ?
The first, most obvious difference between honeybell fruit and sugar belles is size. Honeybells are usually the size of an adult fist, while a sugar belle is much smaller, making it ideal for packing in lunchboxes.
Like honeybell oranges, sugar belle oranges are bright orange in color and slightly bell-shaped at one end. While sugar belles are nice and juicy, they are not as drippy or runny as honeybells. This, along with their small, snackable size, make them an excellent choice for lunch boxes. And that’s not even taking into account their incredibly sweet, vibrant flavor!
One advantage sugar belle citrus has over honeybell oranges is a slightly longer growing season. They’re still only available from November to January, however, so make sure you take advantage of their availability while you can.
Try them both!
Whether you’re sitting down to snack on a sugar belle or a honeybell, one thing’s for sure…both are fantastic! Just the right mix of sugary sweetness and tang in an easy-peel zipper skin, we know you’ll love these citrus gems as much as we do.