Cara Cara oranges have had their own fanbase for some time, many of them citrus insiders. This variety of navel orange actually first became available in the United States back in the late 1980s. However, it wasn't until recently that we started noticing fruit eaters everywhere getting excited about Cara Caras.
Still, even with all this new attention, some confusion around the oranges remains. As Cara Caras transition from a speciality fruit to a mainstream snack, we're exploring what exactly they are and why, all of a sudden, everyone seems to be eating them.
So it's a variety of navel that has pink flesh instead of that classic orange interior. The pink shade is caused by the presence of lycopene, the same antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color, Joan Wickham, director of communications for Sunkist Growers, told Refinery29.
Cara Cara's were already gaining popularity over the past decade, but what about their rise in just the past couple of years? Wickham thinks this may be thanks to Instagram. "I tell people a lot that I think Instagram has been one of the best things to happen to the citrus industry. With Instagram and so many gorgeous photos of the interior of citrus fruits, I think we’re beginning to get some education points to consumers."