There are dozens of varieties of oranges, each with its own characteristic flavor, color, and seasonality. The Valencia orange is the juice orange by which all others are measured; it has a deep color, both in skin and juice, and yields a juice prized for its deep , rich flavor and subtle combination of tart and sweet elements.
Valencias from both Florida and California appear on the market in March; the Florida season winds down during the summer.
California's Valencias are on the market until November, when the new Florida harvest is getting under way.
Tangerines are popular for their loose skins and easy segmentation, desirable for eating this fruit out of hand. Several common citrus fruits are part tangerine in origin.
The tangelo is a tangerine-grapefruit hybrid that looks like a large orange and has a tart-sweet flavor.
It is available from December to April, as is the temple, a tangerine-orange hybrid.
The temple is smaller than the tangelo, but both fruits have a deep skin color and are easy to peel and segment.
California navels are on the market most of the year, from October through July, with the peak season starting around the Christmas holidays.
Like other California oranges, the navel is noted for the thickness of the white beneath its skin. Florida also grows some navel oranges, which have more juice than the California navels, but they often will ''re-green'', that is, the fully ripe orange will develop a green skin color because of warm nights.