Cara Cara oranges are a type of navel orange that has been steadily growing in popularity over the past few years. The oranges are a hybrid between the Washington navel orange and the Brazilian Bahia navel orange, and they were first discovered in 1976 in Venezuela at a place called Hacienda Cara Cara, which is where their name comes from. The Cara Caras look similar to “regular” navel oranges from the outside, but they have a distinctive pink color to their flesh that is immediately noticeable when you cut into one. The color is similar to that of a ruby red grapefruit, but ranges from a pale pink to a much darker shade from orange to orange. They are sweet, juicy and have a very low acidity. They are also noted for having a more complex flavor than your average orange, with notes of cranberry, grapefruit or even tart cherries in with the orange flavor.
Cara Caras can be used in any recipe that calls for oranges, whether it is in the form of orange juice or orange zest. They are very popular with pastry chefs for their sweetness, much as meyer lemons are popular for their bright lemon flavor and low acidity. They are also excellent when supremed and added to salads, where the will contribute a lovely flavor and a bright pop of color.