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Gotta have an orange

Hey, what gives?

All year oranges have been bland or too acid; little of that just-off-the-tree Florida taste.

Orange season's on us - where's the real deal? Looking for a box!

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  1. Try the valencias from Ram Das Orchards at the Tuesday and Saturday Berkeley Farmers' Market. It's the only citrus that's on par with what I get in SoCal.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Morton the Mousse

      Berkeley Farmer's Market

      What's the address?


      Got my answer - 1900 Center St - http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?...

      CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS - Reopends Jan 3rd.

      1. re: Waterboy

        Saturday is on Center street between MLK and Milvia, 10-2. Tuesday is on Derby St between MLK and Milvia, 2-6.

        I think he also sells at a few of the Marin markets if that's more convenient for you, though I'm not sure which ones.

    2. The Florida "real deal" has not been available in California for several years because as Florida has fought (and lost) it battle against the spread of citrus canker, California banned the import of Florida citrus. It gets very political and protectionist: this year, Florida has retaliated in a sense and has banned certain imports from California.
      By the way, the Florida crop is sweeter than usual this year, ( true, no idea why) and the honey bells will be ready in about 2 weeks.
      Veggo ( from Florida)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Veggo

        Veggo, you're killin' me - looks like I'm having a Jan trip to see my mama....

      2. For oranges I head to Berkeley Bowl. Yes you can get better elsewhere but the variety to test out anywhere else, from basic mainstream to heirloom and organic. Monterey Market is also a good bet but since it's further I just go to BB.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ML8000

          This may be to far afield for you.
          Seedless mandarin oranges from the farms around Loomis and Newcastle are fantastic right now. In Davis, we can go to Ikeda's fruitstand and buy seedless mandarins. Newcastle Produce is a great place to visit as well. If you are on a trip to Tahoe or Reno via Hwy 80, you might make a quick detour.

          1. re: souvenir

            Passing Davis on Monday - what's the address of Ikeda's fruitstand?

            1. re: Waterboy

              It's at the Mace Blvd exit, on the North side of Hwy 80.
              I also highly recommend their fruit pies, made with their own locally grown fruit (love their dutch apple pie particularly).
              Now that I think of it, their larger stand is also just off Hwy 80, but further along in Auburn.
              ps. I have no connection with Ikeda or Newcastle Produce, other than to enjoy their locally-grown produce. Both places carry non-local items as well, and while I have purchased some of them in a pinch, I have not enjoyed them as much.

              1. re: souvenir

                reports on Ikeda probably belong on the California board, since it is in Davis (Yolo County)....so, since I stopped there recently, am going to post on my recent experience there on that board...

                edited to add: here is my brief report:


        2. The Satsumas at the Alemany Farmers Market (San Francisco) have been good this year.

          1. That's surprising: Historically, Valencias were summer oranges, navels winter ones!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Fine

              Valencias were so-so....Navels are in, but that intense Orange flavor's missing.

              Trying Ram Das later this week....dang I miss Florida.

              January bicycling around Orlando's a rewarding thing - just about everone has Orange trees.

              1. re: Waterboy

                Texas juice oranges are pretty close to Florida's Indian River oranges. Berkeley Bowl sells the Texas oranges. I'm a Florida ornage fan myself.

                There have been some lovely tangerines at the farmers markets this year.

            2. If you're in SF, Waterboy, try Chinatown -- for some reason the oranges are better, perhaps because they're more likely to have oranges that are ripened on the tree, not picked green and gassed, like most commercial oranges.

              1. Olsen Farm at the SF Ferry Building market has incredibly good citrus. I generally get the mandarins but I'm pretty sure they have regular oranges as well. Good, friendly, family-owned farm, Saturdays only.

                1. The Cara Cara oranges are starting to show up at Rainbow Market in San Francisco. I think Cara Caras are a new cross, and they have a deeper flavor with floral notes like a Meyer lemon, along with red tint to the deeper orange flesh. We're big fans of them!

                  We also bought a 10 lb bag of organic oranges at Rainbow for juice, and they were quite flavorful.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SteveG

                    I really want to like cara cara oranges -- they're so pretty! But they're too low acid for my taste -- kinda bland IMHO.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Hmm, good point. I just realized we usually use them in winter citrus cocktails, so we'll augment the acid with fresh lemon juice or blood orange juice. They're also excellent in small chunks mixed with pain d'epices and again, a squeeze of lemon juice before being warmed in the oven for a holiday breakfast "casserole."

                    2. re: SteveG

                      Cara Cara 49 cents a pound a Monterey Market this AM 12/31.Delicious.

                    3. there are excellent oranges down in Ojai and the Valencia area without having to go to Florida.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Lori SF

                        Ojai / Valencia a bit distant - available in SF Bay Area?

                        1. re: Waterboy

                          Not sure if they are I would imagine maybe somewhere? I did get some good oranges from Golden Produce on Church/Market. They were smaller, thicker skins and quit flavorful.

                      2. The organic navel oranges at Rainbow Grocery in SF have been excellent.