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The Valencia orange is a sweet orange that got its name from the city of Valencia, Spain. Agronomist and land developer William Wolfskill hybridized the fruit and brought it to Southern California. It became so popular that owners soon planted nearly half of their lands in delicious Valencias!
FPC Valencias have such a robust taste and vibrant internal color, they make the perfect fruit to sell in fresh markets ready to peel and eat. They also are so plump and succulent, many consumers will often squeeze them for their delicious juice. FPC Valencias are available from April through October.
The navel orange came from a single mutation in a Selecta orange tree planted on the grounds of a monastery near Bahia, Brazil around 1815. In 1870, twelve cuttings of the original tree were transplanted to California. Because the mutation left the fruit seedless and, therefore, sterile, the only method to cultivate navel oranges is to to graft cuttings onto other varieties of citrus trees.
In the produce aisle, navels are easy to recognize. They have a little “button” opposite their stem. Many consider them the world’s finest orange for eating. Navels have no seeds and can be peeled and segmented easily. They make the perfect transportable snack! FPC Navels are available from November through May.
The lemon actually comes from a small evergreen tree native to Asia. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world. Primarily juiced, the pulp and rind (zest) are also packed with flavor and used in cooking and baking. That tangy, sour taste comes from the 5 to 6% citric acid in the juice.
Just a splash of juice livens up salads, steamed vegetables, stews, and sauces. The acidic nature can tenderize the meat and make it more flavorful. Their zesty sweetness brings a tart zip to so many luscious baked goods. Of course, lemonade is a favorite refreshment for all ages. FPC lemons are available year-round.