California valencias could see comeback

06/08/2012 09:01:00 AM
Andy Nelson

This season, Galone said he has been pleasantly surprised by the eating quality of the California early valencias.

Typically, it takes awhile for the fruit’s quality to ramp up.

The early-season success has been well-timed, given the frost damage to California navels this season.

Unlike navels, California valencias seem to have made it through the freezes unscathed, Bob Blakely, director of industry relations for Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual, told me.

Galone doesn’t expect a sudden renaissance in California valencia plantings, just as most apple growers likely don’t expect red delicious to steal acreage from galas anytime soon.

But as with the red, the valencia seems to be enjoying a renaissance in quality.

“It’s virtually seedless, firm, good-tasting,” Galone said.

“The valencia of today is not the valencia of 25 years ago.”

anelson@thepacker.com

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