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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ingredient: Cara Cara orange

Caracaranew_1

Do you know what this is? It's my favorite orange at the moment, the Cara Cara orange. From the pinkish tone of the flesh and the bright orange skin, it looks like a cross between regular orange and blood orange. It's actually a type of Navel orange that originated at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Valencia, Venezuela, hence the name.

The orange is very sweet, flavorful, and low in acidity. It's one of those rare things that is as pretty as it is delicious. The only problem with them is the season is so very short. I've been getting mine from Hamada farm at the Ferry Plaza farmers market. You probably should give them a try before they are gone.

I love the pretty pink flesh of the Cara Cara in a salad with shaved fennel and arugula. I first had this salad at a small restaurant in Turin, and it was love at first bite. It was so simple, just a handful of arugula leafs, a few very thin slices of fragrant fennel, and some orange sections thrown in. The pinkish red sections of the Cara Cara add a little more fun to the salad in place of the ordinary orange orange. The dressing is just a basic dressing, a little mustard, a little vinegar and olive oil, oh yes salt and pepper of course. Give it a try, I think you will love it as much as I do.

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