Orange Varieties Everyone Should Be Eating More

orange-varietiesEveryone loves oranges because they are the sweetest and better tasting of the citrus fruits. Oranges help boost the immune system and nourish the body with important nutrients it needs to fight off diseases. With a sweet and juicy interior, oranges are perfect for a light and healthy snack. Here are the most popular varieties and their typical availability:

1. Navel Oranges – Navel oranges are large and round with a deep yellowish-orange color. The skin is stony with a medium-thick peel. Navel oranges are usually seedless and really easy to peel and are in season from November through February. Other types of Navels are the Holiday Red Navel Oranges, in season November through December, and the Western Navel Oranges from growers in California’s San Joaquin Valley, which are in season January through May.

2. Temple Oranges – Temples are Florida’s finest eating oranges, with an oval shape and deep orange color. They have a rich sweet and tangy flavor, are easy to peel or section, and few seeds. Temple Oranges are in season from January through February.

3. Valencia Oranges – Valencias have a juicy, rich flavor and aroma. It is medium to large in size, a round-to-oval shape, and a yellow to orange color that sometimes can be tinged green. The Valencia Oranges has a smooth texture with a thin peel and are in season from March through June.

4. Clementines – Small oranges with a deep and glossy orange exterior that is a relative of the tangerine. Clementines are a small and usually seedless variety of the mandarin. They are refreshing, both sweet and tart, and best whole or in salads. They are usually available November through January.

5. Tangelos – Known by their distinctive bell shape, tangelos are the result of a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit for a remarkably sweet and juicy fruit. They are loaded with sweetly tart juice and have a stony texture skin, which is fairly easy to peel. Tangelos are in season November through December. The most popular tangelo variety is the Minneola Tangelo, often called the Honeybell Tangelo. Honeybells have a deep red-orange color with a very sweet flavor, high juice content and only a few seeds. Honeybell Tangelos are in season from December through February.

6. Tangerines – Tangerines are a small, dark orange fruit with an easy-to-peel or “zipper” skin, and a rich and honey sweet juice. Tangerines are ideal for desserts or as a sweet nibble. Some of the tangerine varieties available nationwide are Sunburst or Treasure Coast Tangerines, in season November through April, and the Murcott or Honey Tangerines, available February through April.

7. Ortaniques – Ortaniques are a rare cross between a sweet Valencia Orange and a Tangerine. They have a bright orange color, a rich sweet flavor and are easy to peel and section. This hybrid blend received its unique name from OR-orange, TAN-gerine, un-IQUE. Richly luscious and loaded with Vitamin C, the Ortanique is perfect for eating fresh as a snack and for juicing. These oranges can only be found online, directly from Florida growers. Available March through April.

Best Places to Buy Gourmet Gift Baskets Online

August 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Fruit Baskets, Gift Baskets

Gourmet Gift Basket

When you send gift baskets, your friends and family will receive gorgeous, professionally designed collections of gourmet items like premium fruit, delicious chocolates, specialty treats, and much more. There are many companies with online presence that will create, package and ship these gift baskets for you. However, you should always buy gourmet gift baskets from a company that has a solid reputation of quality and service.

Other companies that charge a fortune for these types of gift baskets, will not measure up to your standards. So, make sure to buy your holiday, birthday and other occasion gourmet baskets from the long standing sellers who have earned their reputation for quality products, reliable shipping, and great customer service. Here are a few:

Gift Baskets.com

If you’re looking for food gift baskets featuring tasty cookies and well-known brands like Mrs. Fields, Gift Baskets.com is a great site to order from. You can shop a variety of both small and simple baskets to an elaborate gift basket for an entire office.

Harry & David

Harry & David are well known for holiday gift baskets featuring their signature pears. The company also offers gourmet baskets filled with organic fruit, as well as other eco-friendly and health conscious choices for consumers living an organic lifestyle. Sometimes their choices are limited since Harry and David baskets are very popular and high quality creations.

Wine Country Gift Baskets

Wine Country Gift Baskets is a nice choice for sending baskets bursting with exotic, gourmet food and wine. They specialize in creating specialty gift baskets that include wine, chocolate, coffee, tea and other premium foods. Experts at putting together high-end food and wine baskets, their website makes ordering easy and convenient, while letting you know which states allow for shipping of wine gift baskets and which ones prohibit it.

Hale Groves

Hale Groves is renowned for offering outstanding citrus fruit and gourmet gift baskets. Located right in the Indian River citrus district, Hale has built a strong reputation for both quality and service, and they baskets are in high demand throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season so it is wise to order ahead of time. Independently owned, the company has been producing some of the best tasting fruit in the country for more than 70 years and ships in the Continental United States,  Alaska, Hawaii, Canadian Provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Maritimes.