I'm in love, truly in love with this little beauty. I snapped this in the assistant principal's office at one of my schools, figuring that if Bakerina can make sourdough sponge at work, I could take pictures of my new-found love at school (it was probably the most productive thing to happen in that office all day. And if you think that the blithe snapping of photos of citrus fruit on top of the stunningly dull standardized test-prep materials shows a lack of respect for the tests themselves -- well, let's just say you're on the right track. But that's a story for another place, another blog [earth-shattering expose of the horrors of the public school system?]).
As you may already be aware, this is a Cara Cara orange. The Californians of course are yawning their ho-hums, but it's a somewhat newer fruit to those of us in other parts of the country. They're certainly new to me -- and I am oh-so-glad that I discovered them. On the outside, they look pretty much like a navel orange. What I'm a sucker for is their inner beauty; that peachy, salmony, tequila sunrise color is a charming surprise. A blush-pink orange!
I've aways had great affection for blood oranges, ever since my mother smuggled some home from Italy when I was a child. I love the drama of their color and the tiny shock of their haunting flavor. These Cara Caras, however, are a sweeter and perhaps friendlier treat. They're not quite so in-your-face as the show-stopping blood orange, but still a wonderful contrast to other orangey cousins. Let's face it, I love citrus, all kinds of citrus, on its own and in every sort of dish that you or I can imagine. The problem is that occasionally the acid can be a leetle bit bothersome. These darlings, however, are not only gorgeous and delicious, but low in acid as well. The other night we had two homemade desserts in the house, since I was a busy bee last week and made dark chocolate pudding with whipped cream one night and brown sugar-pineapple crumble the next. But when it came down to it, I decided that I'd rather have a Cara Cara for dessert. That sort of choice (while not totally unheard-of) is somewhat unusual for me when not based on a dietary or caloric decision. I love them for themselves alone, you see, not for their healthy or low calorie benefits.
The only glitch is that I could blow the rent check buying them. But it would almost be worth it.