Why Aren’t Oranges Sweet this Year?

(Last Updated On: December 10, 2014)

Murcott Mandarins

Walking into a supermarket and buying a good piece of fruit is like swinging a baseball. Sometimes you get a hit and sometimes you miss (and since no one in the majors has hit over .400 in decades, it means there is a lot more misses than hits). Really it only seems that way. A lot of time people end up disappointed because they aren’t armed with the right knowledge. Which leads me to today’s question – Why Aren’t Oranges Sweet this Year? This is a question that I discoverd someone typed into a Google search box and got to my blog. Thanks for coming, but I didn’t necessarily have the answer they were looking for. Next time I will be ready!

Why Aren’t Oranges Sweet this Year?
It is true that the environment plays a role onto how sweet an orange will be from year to year. In my produce experience, there has never been a year that ended without me biting into a sweet, juicy orange. This is a question I have seen pop up each year. So what’s the deal? The calendar, my friend. You see, companies want to sell their oranges as soon as possible. They end up in stores before they are as sweet as they can be. Typically in October and November, the oranges you find will end up being disappointing. Once we get past Christmas, they get better, especially when the Heirloom Navels arrive! If you wait all the way into April, May and even June, companies like Sunkist, who I don’t really recommend, have really sweet oranges. They even arrive in the stores in different boxes that say Late Navels.

2 Replies to “Why Aren’t Oranges Sweet this Year?”

  1. Well, it’s now March 1 and in February, any orange I bought, including the wonderful Cara Cara, were far from having any ‘sweet’ flavor. But, it’s not only oranges, the past 4 summers, grapes have gone downhill along with cantaloupes and other fruit. The same with tomatoes, but that tomato problem has been going on for over a decade. What has happened?

  2. Eric Samuelson says:

    Sadly a lot of companies don’t care about flavor. Profit trumps flavor. If the fruit looks ready, they know customers will buy it. Not every grower is like this. I know which ones to avoid and which one to buy due to years of tasting and remembering which growers tasted the best. I have to shop around. Where do you normally buy your produce?

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