Fukumoto Navel Oranges
Inventory, lb : 0
|Mud Creek Ranch|
Fukumoto navel oranges are small to medium-sized fruits with a deeply colored, vibrant orange-red rind. The rind is smooth with a slightly pebbly texture, easy to peel, and has the trademark navel “belly button” at its stem end. The pulp of Fukumoto is seedless, juicy, and boasts a richly, sweet orange flavor.
Fukumoto navel oranges are available in the late fall through the winter months.
The Fukumoto, botanically classified as part of Citrus sinensis, is a navel orange selection originally from Japan. Most of its years in the United States have been spent trying to determine if the Fukumoto can be developed into a variety of orange that will successfully and reliably produce fruit in the citrus growing regions of the United States. It is grown today at University of California Riverside and affiliate growers, as well as by a handful of small farms and home growers. Fukumoto fruit can also be found on a very limited basis from farmers markets when in season.
Like many orange citrus varieties, the Fukumoto offers vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and fiber. Most notably though they are known for the healthy dose of vitamin C they contain.
Fukumoto navel can be used in most preparations calling for navel oranges. They can be squeezed for their juice which can be consumed as is or used to make a number of applications such as cocktails, smoothies, sorbets, marinades, and sauces. The juice can also be used to add sweetness and acidity to salsas, salad dressings, and ceviche. Sliced Fukumoto navel can be eaten as a snack or served on cheese boards. Supremed Fukumoto can be added to fruit or savory salads and served atop grilled fish or fish tacos. For best quality keep Fukumoto refrigerated and used within 2 weeks.
The Fukumoto was named after S. Fukumoto, who was the first to grow the orange in Japan’s Wakayama Prefecture. It was originally brought to the United States from Japan with the hope that its larger size and improved color would yield an improved naval orange cultivar for the commercial citrus market there. While the Fukumoto has proved to be an early season producer testing has not quite met expectations. The Fukumoto has not only been shown to produce smaller fruit but when grown in the United States has exhibited some concerning issues with bark rot syndrome and the navel orange disease, chimera. Testing continues to see if importing new strains of Fukumoto from abroad can in time yield a fruit that will be a commercial success in the citrus growing regions of the United States.
The original Fukumoto is believed to have been a naturally occurring mutation developed in the 1960’s in the Wakayama prefecture of Japan. In 1983 it was donated to Doctor W.P. Bitters who selected the orange from a display of Japanese citrus and had it brought to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Glenn Dale quarantine. After 4 years in quarantine being tested for various citrus diseases the Fukumoto was released in September 1986. In 1990 it was released in California to the University of California Riverside where it has since been in development as plant breeders try to find a Fukumoto variety capable of being commercially successful in the California citrus region.
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