Cara cara oranges are a relatively new fruit that just might have been a result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation of another navel orange variety, the Washington navel. If you’re a big citrus fan, cara caras are a must-try. It has everything you love in an orange, with distinctive pink flesh and nectarous juice. This particular orange is known to be less acidic and less pulpy than your typical orange, so the experience of eating a cara cara is a unique pleasure in itself!
To the naked eye, cara cara oranges are very similar in appearance to other varieties of navel orange. Cara Cara oranges have a dark orange skin and are roughly the size of a baseball or softball. The unique pink flesh is the result of the carotenoid lycopene (the beloved antioxidant found in tomatoes), which is rarely found in citrus fruits.
This is no ordinary orange. The cara cara orange is beloved for its rosy pink citrus flesh, and flavor that’s sweeter and more berry-like than standard oranges. To get a sense of what cara cara orange tastes like, imagine a ripe, juicy orange that has an essence of strawberry and less acidity.
Outside, cara cara orange looks nearly identical to the navel oranges you already know and love. Cara cara oranges are slightly smaller than a softball with a pithy orange peel (the zest is amazing) and individual citrus fruit sections inside. The first time you slice into a cara cara orange you’ll be dazzled by its peachy-pink flesh reminiscent of a pink grapefruit.
You can tell that a cara cara orange is ripe the same way as other citrus fruits. A ripe cara cara orange will have relatively clear skin that is golden orange throughout and have a weightiness to it in the palm of your hand. Don’t worry about little scrapes or scars as citrus skin is pretty tough and does a good job of protecting the cara cara fruit inside.
Cara cara oranges are as easy to peel as regular oranges, making them great on-the-go snacks or in bagged lunches. For more ways to eat cara cara oranges, check out this page.
Cara cara oranges can be stored on the counter or the refrigerator. With fruit this special, we recommend storing ripe cara cara oranges in the refrigerator to keep them fresher for longer. For easy freezing, peel your cara cara orange and lay sections of fruit on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Once frozen, store the sections in a freezer-safe, airtight container
Cara cara oranges were discovered in Valencia, Venezuela in the late 1970s. About a decade later these pink-fleshed oranges made their way to the United States. Today cara cara oranges grow throughout South and North America.
In the United States, cara cara oranges are in season from late fall through early spring. Here, cara cara season begins at the end of November and lasts until early April. Peak time for cara cara oranges in California is January through March.
Whether a cara cara orange is certified organic or not will depend on the farm where it was grown. At FruitStand, we only partner with small specialty farms that follow quality farming practices for exceptional quality of produce. When each harvest is available, we'll tell you whether the fruit is considered organic or conventional.
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