- sweet orange
A baseball-sized citrus fruit with a tough orange skin and flesh that is segmented and juicy. It may have a sweet to slightly bitter taste, depending on the variety. They are grown in regions with a subtropical or Mediterranean climate. Some of the common varieties of include Ambersweet, Blood, Hamlin, Naval, Red Naval, Pineapple, and Valencia oranges. Oranges are a good source of vitamins, such as vitamin C and four B vitamins and are also a good source of many important minerals!
Varieties include the sweet orange, the sour orange, and the mandarin orange, or tangerine. The United States produces the sweet variety. Spain produces the sour variety, Seville, which is used in marmalades and liqueurs. Most all oranges have a yellow orange color with sizes ranging from small to large. The inside of an orange is plump and juicy. Sweet favorites include the Blood, Hamlin, Jaffa, Navel, Pineapple and Valencia. The color depends on the climate. Florida's warm days and nights produce oranges with some green in the skin coloring. California and Arizona oranges tend to have deeper orange color due to cooler desert nights!
The principal varieties of the sweet orange cultivated by orange growers of the eastern United States are the Hamlin and Parson Brown, both early-maturing, seedy varieties with thin, russet skin and juicy pulp. Both eastern and western growers cultivate the Valencia, a late variety that is commercially seedless. Fresh oranges from California and Arizona are available throughout the year, with two major varieties, Navels and Valencias. The Moro orange (a type of blood orange) and the red Cara Navel are two western-grown seasonal varieties. The Navel orange is a seedless orange, with medium-thick rind, in which a second small, orange grows. A variety of the Washington Navel orange is the principal orange product of Texas!
Oranges can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator without plastic bags or in the crisper drawer for up to 2 weeks. They do not ripen further after harvest. Fresh-squeezed juice and grated peel or zest may be refrigerated or frozen, but whole citrus fruit should not be frozen!
Oranges may exhibit some re-greening of the skin; this does not adversely affect internal fruit quality. Neither does surface scarring, which occurs when wind brushed young fruit against the tree!