Sky Valley Heirloom Navel Orange

March 24th, 2010 | Fruit Maven

If you think I haven’t been posting enough lately and that I have lost my love of fruit (you are wrong) and…this is the fruit for you!

As I mentioned when I talked about the ever-so-lovely Shasta Tangerine, March fruit just isn’t inspiring me. So please don’t dismay, I haven’t abandoned the blog, but it is going to be tough going for a while until I come across something interesting. I know what you are thinking. A navel orange? THAT is what inspired you enough to come out of the March doldrums and post? Yes indeed.

I’ve recently gotten a juicer — the Breville 800jexl — if you are interested in reading my review of it, and I can’t stop juicing so I’m regularly on the hunt for oranges. But I digress.  On with the story…

 I was wandering through Trader Joe’s and a bag of these were prominently displayed near the front. I tend to look right past endcap displays as I assume it is an overstocked item they are trying to pawn off on innocent marketing victims. But this time it was an orange! And it claimed to be “heirloom”!  But, and this is a big BUT, it was pre-bagged. I generally avoid this on principle — I don’t want someone telling me how many of something I have to buy. I am in charge here!  But it was “heirloom” (often secret code for absolutely nothing but an extra high price) and I’m bored so I tossed it in my bag and hoped for the best. Grocery store oranges tend to be so dull and lifeless that I can’t even remember the last time I bought one. These are a definite standout and if you see them, you should snatch up two bags. Something has to carry us through to April and it looks like it isn’t going to be my witty prose. Sorry.

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★★☆

Medium orange color and size, slightly bumpy skin. Bright orange flesh.

AROMA Rating: ★★★★½

Bright, fresh orange scent – not overly strong but not subtle either.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★½

Thick skin and pith. Perfectly tender and juicy flesh. No seeds!

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Ideal acidity with a deep sweet orange flavor.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★½

The pith on this is pretty thick but it isn’t particularly distracting if you don’t get it all removed. That being said, this is the perfect orange to cut in to quarters and just dive right into. Make yourself an orange peel smile because this orange is delightful.  The company website claims these are old line Washington navel oranges, which uses a sour orange rootstock that is barely used anymore. Whatever all that means, it equals “delicious” in this case.

 Grocery Store
Sky Valley Heirloom Navel


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Leave a Comment

  • Randy Jacobson Apr 26, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the Sky Valley Heirloom Navels. The ranch is now finished. We are also now growing a Gold Nugget Mandarin. Lumpy and bumpy in appearance, it is a zipper skin and one of the sweetest mandarins we have ever tasted. I would like to send you a box and get your opinion. If interested please advise by return email where we can send it.

  • Jay Liew May 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Digging the web design! Looks like you’ve been busy :) Happy Memorial Day weekend.

    More content plz.

  • judy jacobson Jan 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    These oranges are terrific! I’m 66 and remember when all oranges had this sweet flavor…a real treat!

  • susan Feb 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

    These are undoubtedly the best oranges i have EVER had and i am frustrated at not being able to get anymore…I too took the bait at Trader Joes and after one taste i rushed back to buy more but Alas, they were all gone. anyone know how to get more????

  • Gert Feb 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Just bought two bags at Trader Joe’s last night. 02/07/2011. I’m eating one right now and yup it’s really good.

  • suzanne choe Feb 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    i’ve already gone thru 2 bags of these oranges and tell everyone i know to buy them. they taste how an orange SHOULD taste. so juicy and sweet. if they’re at the end of the season, i may have to hoard a few bags. i still see them at my local TJ’s in the chicagoland area.

  • John Zelenak Feb 13, 2011 at 6:59 am

    As I read your little story I had this funny feeling come over me that it was actually something I wrote in my sleep and forgot about. The VERY SAME THING happened to my wife and me when we were at Trader Joes last week. My search on the Net for the product brought me to your comment. Now my question is this :::: Trader Joes is a 40 mile trip for me so it doesn’t happen often — do you know who else might have these oranges. They are incredible. By the way, loved your story.

  • Karen Feb 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Wonderful orange….I was so pleasantly surprised…….I had almost given up on oranges…….Yah! for the orange

  • Jason K Mar 3, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I’m a big fan of these. I’ve been going through a bag a week since they showed up at Trader Joes. I eat 2 oranges a day (well my 18 month old daughter usually steals a few segments too) and I LOVE these oranges. Haven’t had a bad one. They are easy to peel, and the pith doesn’t release easy, but does not detract from the taste. They taste like oranges SHOULD taste. I’m also a BIG fan of the blood oranges that Trader Joes had this year, they were seedless and very tasty.

  • HARRY BOOGAERT Mar 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    only had one bag and i am hooked but i cant find more, where do i find more of these please?

  • Constance Mar 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I think the little “Sky Valley Heirloom Navel Oranges” were some of the best I have ever tasted! Plus, they are small, good for portion control.

  • Carolyn H Jan 26, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I recently bought these oranges and thought they were amazing !
    I had about 5 in a row they tasted so sweet like CANDY!!

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