Bursting with sweet, flavorful juice, Florida Valencia Oranges are America’s favorite juicing orange, although they’re equally delicious eaten out of hand. The world’s best-known orange, Valencias were named for the city of Valencia, Spain where oranges of legendary sweetness have been produced for centuries. The Valencias grown in Florida were hybridized by a California citrus farmer, but soon found their way to the Sunshine State where the thrived in Florida’s subtropical climate and fertile soil.
Their deliciously sweet flavor and brightly colored juice has made Florida Valencia Oranges the world’s premium juice orange and Florida the nation’s leading producer of Valencia Oranges for the juice industry. Valencias now account for 50% of the state’s total citrus production. With a season that runs from March into early June, Valencias are also the citrus industry’s premium late season orange and the only fresh-picked orange available during the summer.
You can tell you’re eating a fresh-picked Florida Valencia Orange by the seeds. A typical Florida Valencia Orange will have from one to six seeds. If you don’t find any seeds, you’re probably eating a Florida Navel Orange or Florida Tangerine. Florida Valencias are thin skinned and valued for their exceptionally high juice content. Only about 60 calories, a medium Valencia Orange provides 116% of the daily value of vitamin C, 13% dietary fiber, 10% folate, 8% thiamin, 7% potassium, 6% vitamin A and 5% calcium.
You may notice a greenish cast on the rinds of fresh-picked Florida Valencia Oranges. This in no way interferes with the sweet flavor or juiciness of the fruit and is not a sign of unripe fruit. Called “regreening,” the reabsorption of chlorophyll provides Florida Valencias with natural protection against sunburn, a necessity for a citrus fruit that stays on the tree for nearly a full year before being picked, 30% longer than any other citrus variety. Of course, the longer an orange stays on the tree, the sweeter it is which means that Florida Valencia Oranges are not only the Sunshine State’s juiciest oranges, they’re also the sweetest!