Navel oranges are possibly the most popular of the citrus fruits in the world.
Navel Oranges get their name from the navel-like spot that is found on the blossom end of the fruit. This happens because they are connected when they first bloom – similar to conjoined twins. You can find navel oranges growing in Brazil, Florida, California and Arizona.
The navel orange is known as a Bahia Navel Orange, Washington or Riverside, but its scientific name is Citrus Sinensis. Navel oranges are a seedless fruit, so they have to be propagated from its cuttings.
The sweet taste of the natural juices in the navel orange is what makes them so popular. They can be consumed out of hand or they can be squeezed into a refreshing drink. Some place them in a juicer mixed with other fruits to make a punch. Oranges can also be used in fruit salads or turned into a jam.
The navel orange is an undeveloped fruit, which is why they come conjoined after blossoming. Depending on the region, they can be found blooming from winter through late spring. Navel oranges are known to blossom from the same tree. Farmers use the cuttings of the navel orange and periodically graft them into fresh stock. This helps to ensure they will be healthy and abundant.
The Brazilians believe there was a spontaneous mutation that occurred hundreds of years ago with the oranges because of their conjoined state at their blossom state. This supposedly occurred around 1820 – this made navel oranges a hit in various regions. Many people began to farm and produce them for the markets. The first place to cultivate these oranges was Riverside, California, which brought about one of their nicknames.
When searching for fresh oranges of this kind, it is best to get them between their seasons, between winter and late spring. At the market, you can feel them to see how heavy they are; they should feel weighty with no soft spots or molding.
A lot of people grow oranges themselves, if their regions allow them to. They make great additions to gardens and are, of course, a great healthy food source. They smell great and look great as well. The trees of the navel oranges also produce aromatic flowers. You can find these trees being sold in various nurseries around the globe. Planting them is easy and managing them isn’t too difficult.