The Many Types of Florida Oranges
In the wide world of fruit, Florida oranges stand alone as the juiciest and sweetest tasting varieties to be had. Most folks know when they’re buying a Florida orange, either as a piece of fruit or as juice, that they’re going to get a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Of course, we’re really buying Florida oranges for the taste. Although many people have their favorites, there is nothing wrong with opening up the selection process and trying all the varieties of Florida oranges available on the market today.
The Navel orange is probably the most common variety of Florida orange sold on the market today. Although this type of Florida orange has an oval shape, it gets its name from the distinct bellybutton dimple on the bottom of every orange. Navel oranges are very easy to peel. Inside you’ll find plump, juicy sections that are actually encasing an even smaller version of the Navel. It’s the orange in the orange. Best of all Navel oranges are seedless. Thanks to Florida’s amazing weather, you can find Navel oranges all throughout the year but their peak ripening season is between November and January. That’s when you’ll score the most amazing Florida Navel oranges.
Next to the Navel, the Tangerine comes across as a smaller cousin but don’t let that small size fool you. Tangerines are bursting with sweet flavors. As Florida oranges go, Tangerines are a popular snack to pack in kids’ lunches or to take for a car ride. Although Tangerines do have seeds, they won’t get in the way of you enjoying their juicy goodness. For the ripest Tangerines be on the lookout between November and March.
Within the family of Florida oranges you have the single type and the cross over type. The cross over is a sort of a hybrid between two fruits. The Temple is a hybrid of Florida orange and Tangerine. You can tell a Temple from other varieties of Florida oranges by the reddish hue to the rough skin. Temples don’t have a lot of seeds and are every bit as sweet and juicy as their “cousins.” The best time to find Temples in season is for a two month window of January to February.
Valencias oranges actually got their start on the west coast but when it became more profitable to build houses then plant orange groves, the Valencia orange business picked up and move to Florida and they’ve been happy ever since! Valencias are often used for juicing because of their amazing nectar but they’re just as great as a treat. The best time to grab a Valencia is in March to May. The real question isn’t which is your favorite type of Florida orange but how can you just pick one?