Valencias: Endless Summer Oranges

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By Heidi Lewis

Have you had a chance to step into liquid this summer? Not just watching surf  movies or surfing the net with a keyboard, but some long boarding? Surfing has  certainly expanded since the pioneers “shredded” back in the 1960s, and surf  culture is perhaps California’s largest export. It’s touched many of us with FOSE  (flat-out surfer envy), imbued some with an ethos of languidity, and made countless  others aware of the ocean’s power. But it’s most known for influencing people  everywhere (who’ve never even dipped a toe in the salty sea) to sprinkle their  declarative sentences with “dude.”

Another great California export is the Valencia orange, named after Valencia, Spain  (although they’re thought to have originated in China or India). The Valencia orange  was patented in the 19th century and achieved great success in Southern California,  inspiring the naming of Orange County. Although it is grown all over the world, the  Valencia is a quintessential Californian.

Much like surfing, Valencia orange season kicks into gear in summer but can stretch  into winter, which is why they are dubbed the “endless summer orange.” Good  tasting and good for you, a medium orange has only about 60 calories and provides  about 115 percent of the daily value of vitamin C.

Re-greening: Sometimes the fruit’s smooth skin will have a green tinge—this  is known as “re-greening,” when warm weather makes the ripe fruit reabsorb  chlorophyll for protection. The green is no indication of flavor—in fact, green-tinged  oranges often have more sugar than the deep-orange dudes.

Heidi Lewis writes about farms, bees, and fruit from her home in Sonoma County, CA. She's been with The FruitGuys since they were FruitKids.


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