The navel orange
is a delicious citrus fruit
that probably originated in China
sometime during the 17th century and is now grown in Arizona
. Navel oranges draw their name, fittingly enough, from the fact that the blossom
end of the fruit resembles a navel
. In fact, the navel itself is actually a separate fruit attached to the main orange, which you can readily see if you slice one open. Navel oranges are the most popular eating orange in the world
, most likely because they're sweet, juicy, seedless and easy to peel, which makes them absolutely perfect for lazy folk
In selecting a navel orange, you'll want to choose one that's firm and has a bit of weight to it. Brown spots on the skin are normal and don't have any effect on the flavor. The skin should be thin, smooth and brightly colored. Avoid oranges with soft spots, faded coloring or rough, wrinkly skin.
Navel oranges from the US are available from November to May, while Australian navels are available from June to August.