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Cara Cara oranges are a type of naval orange native to Africa, South America, and the United States. One way to choose ripe oranges is by checking the weight of this fruit. The color of the fruit also plays a part in determining their freshness, as ripe fruit generally has bright orange skin that is somewhat shiny in appearance. Navel oranges should have a light citrus smell that is not overpowering. Fruit that has dark orange or pink flesh will generally taste sweeter than fruit with light-colored flesh.
When you are selecting Cara Cara oranges, it can be a good idea to pick up several specimens so you can compare their weight. Generally speaking, the best produce will feel slightly heavy for its size when compared to other fruit of this variety. Try to choose navel oranges that are very round yet slightly indented on the top and bottom if possible.
You should look for brightly-colored fruit that is an even shade, if possible. The skin may also be somewhat shiny when it is fresh, so oranges that appear dull may have been picked some time ago.
You may want to sniff Cara Cara oranges to determine how fresh they are. This is because fresh oranges will have a pleasant aroma that is not especially strong. Although the smell is very faint, it is nonetheless noticeable even if this citrus is unpeeled or uncut. If the fruit does have a strong smell or a fermented odor, this could be a sign of overripe or rotting specimens. This can be especially true if there are signs of mold or bruising present on this crop's peel.
If you are able to look at the inner flesh of Cara Cara oranges, this can also help you determine which are ripe. Typically, these will have vibrantly-colored flesh ranging from deep pink to very bright orange when they are at their peak. Fruit with more colorful flesh usually has a sweeter taste, and also can make a more attractive garnish than Cara Cara oranges with light-colored flesh. You may want to ask the produce manager to cut open a sample of this fruit so you can better determine the quality of the oranges you are purchasing.