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The origin of navel oranges can be traced back to a chance mutation that occurred in the early 19th century in Bahia, Brazil. The navel orange is a type of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) characterized by a small, undeveloped second fruit located at the blossom end, which resembles a human navel. This secondary fruit is actually a small, underdeveloped orange, and it is seedless.

The story of the navel orange's origin begins with a single tree that was discovered in a Brazilian monastery around 1820. The original navel orange tree was a mutation from the Selecta orange variety, a sweet orange cultivar widely grown in Brazil at the time. This mutation caused the formation of a second fruit at the blossom end of the orange, which gave it the appearance of having a "navel."

The discovery of this unique fruit piqued the interest of local farmers and horticulturists. Recognizing the value of the seedless and sweet fruit, they propagated the tree through budding and grafting to ensure its preservation and distribution.

The first two navel orange trees were brought to the United States in 1870 as a gift to Eliza Tibbets, a resident of Riverside, California. She and her husband nurtured these trees, and they flourished in the Southern California climate. The successful cultivation of the navel orange in California led to its rapid propagation and widespread distribution throughout the region.

The navel orange quickly gained popularity due to its excellent taste, lack of seeds, and easy-to-peel nature. Its popularity soared in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it became a highly sought-after fruit both domestically and internationally.

Beyond California, the cultivation of navel oranges expanded to other suitable regions worldwide, including Spain, Italy, Australia, South Africa, and South America. Various navel orange varieties have been developed over time to cater to different climates and growing conditions, ensuring a steady supply of these delightful oranges year-round.

The navel orange's origin is a classic example of how chance mutations in nature can lead to the development of new and valuable plant varieties. Through human intervention, these desirable traits are preserved and distributed, leading to the widespread cultivation and enjoyment of navel oranges around the world.





Featured Recipe:



Fuzzy Navel Cheesecake 

RUST
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened
3 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

FILLING
3 pkg cream cheese -- (8 oz) softened
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate -- thawed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup peach schnapps
5 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

GLAZE
2/3 cup orange marmalade
3 tbs frozen orange juice concentrate -- thawed
1 1/2 tbs peach schnapps
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice

COOKIE CRUST: In medium bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Add egg,      
butter and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until well combined. With     
greased fingers press dough evenly onto bottom of greased 9" springform    
pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or til lightly browned. Remove  
from oven and set aside. (Can also use 8-oz. package refrigerated sugar    
cookie dough.)                                                             
                                                                           
FILLING: In large bowl combine first 4 ingredients. Beat with electric     
mixer until smooth. Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after   
each addition. Beat in orange juice, schnapps, lemon juice and vanilla.    
Pour mixture over the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower     
temperature to 200 degrees and bake for an additional hour and 10 minutes, 
or until center no longer looks shiny or wet. Remove cake from oven and run
 a knife around the edge of pan.                                           
Chill, uncovered, overnight.                                               
                                                                           
GLAZE: In small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook and stir until     
thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Pour over cheesecake.  
Chill until serving time. Makes 12-18 servings.       











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Saturday, 13 April 2024 02:41:31 UTC