California was famed for its orange orchards during the 20th century. Though the acreage has been reduced, oranges are still abundant. Oranges were mentioned in Chinese literature thousands of years ago and were cultivated around the world. Oranges have a bright orange pitted peel with white pith and sectioned fruit. Known for their vitamin C, oranges are also high in calcium, potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamin), folate, and dietary fiber.
There are numerous varieties but the most common are:
Navel: A good eating orange, sweet-tangy flesh, round and bright orange with orange interior. The thick skin makes them easy to peel, but less juicy.
Valencia: Good eating orange, but mostly used for juicing. Late-season variety.
Blood Orange: Considered the most delicious juicing orange, they have a bright orange peel and a gorgeous dark red colored flesh that is medium-sweet.
Cara Cara Navels: Also called the red navel, they are sweet with low acidity. They have a bright orange rind but distinctive pinkish-red flesh.