Citrus bliss: Cara cara oranges lead to navel gazing

  • By Sarah Jackson
  • Thursday, March 3, 2011 9:00am
  • Life

OK, fruit fans. I have a treat for you.

Winter is almost over. And yet, the local berry seasons are so far away.

What can you do?

I recommend The Heavenly, The Otherworldly. The Totally Amazing Cara Cara Navel Orange.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I know: These are so no

t local. They actually cannot be grown commercially in Washington as far as I know, though the variety is apparently some kind of delightful mutation that happened once on a Washington navel tree in, um, Venezuela. (See? Otherworldly!)

According to Florida-based Seald Sweet, one of two distributors of 8-pound bags of these orange orbs at your local Costco for about $8, the season for California cara caras is December through May, so get them now.

Fresno-based Trinity Fruit, another distributor, which sells smaller-size cara caras at Costco, lists the California season as November through March.

Either way you look at it, however, cara caras do appear to be a year-round crop. And you don’t want to miss out.

You don’t have to be a Costco member to eat of the cara cara. I recently saw a large bulk bin of them at my Edmonds PCC, and I’ve seen them in past years at major grocery stores, too, but always for a limited window.

Why should you care?

Just opening up a cara cara with a knife or your bare hands is worth the price just for the aromatherapy benefits.

Then you eat one and, well, wow. All that fragrance translates into pure and total citrus bliss.

Their pinkish red flesh is a novelty and their flavor is the perfect mix of sour, sweet and wonderful acidic glory.

They are very juicy, but firm.

And they peel easily. OK, they’re not California-mandarin-Cutie easy, but they pretty darn easy as navels go.

What is your favorite type of citrus? Tangelos? Minneolas? Pummelos?

Comment below.

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