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The history of navel oranges dates back to the early 19th century. The first navel orange tree was discovered as a spontaneous mutation on a sour orange tree in the orchard of a Brazilian monastery. The unique characteristic of this mutation was the presence of a second fruit at the base of the orange, resembling a human navel, hence the name "navel orange."

The discovery of the navel orange took place in the Bahia state of Brazil in 1820. However, it wasn't until 1870 that navel orange trees were introduced to the United States, specifically California. A few navel orange trees were brought to Riverside, California, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These trees were then propagated, and the navel orange industry began to flourish in California.

Navel oranges quickly gained popularity due to their seedlessness, easy-to-peel skin, and sweet, juicy flavor. The navel orange variety that was initially introduced to California was the Bahia navel orange, which became the foundation for the navel orange industry in the region.

The success of navel oranges led to the establishment of commercial orchards throughout California, particularly in the Central Valley, where the climate and soil conditions were ideal for growing these citrus fruits. The navel orange industry grew rapidly, and by the early 20th century, California became one of the leading producers of navel oranges in the world.

Over time, different navel orange varieties were developed through selective breeding and cultivation. Some of the popular varieties include the Washington navel, which is the most widely grown navel orange variety in California, and the Cara Cara navel, known for its pinkish-red flesh and slightly tangy flavor.

Today, navel oranges are grown in various regions around the world with suitable climates, including California, Florida, Spain, Australia, and South Africa. They remain one of the most popular and recognizable citrus fruits, enjoyed fresh as a snack, used in culinary preparations, or processed into juices and desserts.

Featured Recipe:

Fuzzy Navel Cake 

1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix, without pudding added 
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 (3 1/2 ounce) boxes vanilla instant pudding 
4 eggs 
3/4 cup peach schnapps 
1/2 cup orange juice 
1/2 tsp orange extract 

4 tbs peach schnapps 
2 tbs orange juice 
1 cup powdered sugar 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease a 9 1/2" Bundt pan. In a large mixing
bowl, combine cake mix, oil, pudding, eggs, schnapps, orange juice and
orange extract. beat for 2 minutes with electric mixer. Pour batter into
Bundt pan and bake 50 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly
touched. Remove from oven and prepare topping while cake is hot. Mix
topping ingredients well. Using a small skewer, poke holes into the cake
and pour topping over the hot cake. Allow to cool at least 2 1/2 hours. 
Invert cake onto serving plate and serve. 

This site is not affiliated in any way with the US Navy, the US government, or any other agency, service or institution. This site is about navels, not navals. Were you looking for the US Naval Academy? Well, first learn to spell, then perhaps click here .
Friday, 24 May 2024 06:36:16 UTC