I've been known to get a little obsessive about certain fruits. Seems like every year or two I zero in on a new variety and then must eat it, pounds at a time, until the cravings pass. This fall I developed a thing for Honeycrisp apples, which I had never seen in Bay Area produce markets. Before that, there was the year of the Rainier cherry, the year of the white peach, and the long era of the lychee, when I'd make my friend Denise, who worked in San Francisco Chinatown, notify me of the first fresh lychee sighting each June.
Last year, my F-OCD fixed on this fruit. The cara cara orange isn't exactly new -- it was introduced to the United States from Venezuela in the late 1980s -- but in the past couple years it has moved from specialty food to mainstream, from pastry-chef cult ingredient to universal accessibility. A low-acid variety of the navel, the cara cara looks like a pink grapefruit, tastes like a less-rich version of the mandarine with a subtle rosewater scent, and makes for addictive snacking.
I have been eyeing cara caras at local markets for the past two weeks -- still at specialty prices, sadly -- but now that I'm ridding the house of Christmas cookies and moving into recovery month, it's time to see if we can rekindle the spark. Has anybody else spotted these oranges in bulk?