A Study of Citrus

 

Citrus Season is in full swing and many of us have a favorite sweet-n-tangy fruit to help ward off the winter blues. Right now we’ve got a great selection of citrus in, and we’ll continue to get more varieties in throughout the winter!

Kumquat- While there is still some debate as to whether or not kumquats are a part of the citrus family, they are considered by some to be one of the original forms of citrus fruit, Kumquats are tiny and have a very sour flesh. They’re typically eaten with the skin on, as it’s sweet flavor helps to cut the tartness held within.

Grapefruit – Created from a cross between oranges and pomelos, grapefruits are often sour and bitter.

  • Rio Red – A large grapefruit with a pinkish, pebbled rind and a juicy, dark pink flesh.
  • Star Ruby – A smaller member of the grapefruit family, the Star Ruby has the darkest pink flesh of all varieties. They have a smooth, yellow rind and and often have little to no seeds.

Mandarin – the overarching category that Tangerines, Clementines, and Satsumas fall into. They are generally smaller and sweeter than oranges, a little flatter in shape, and they and have a thinner, looser skin that makes them easier to peel.

  • Clementine – Also known as Algerian Mandarins, these little gems are easy to peel almost always seedless. They’re a cross between mandarins and sweet oranges and are known for their juicy sweetness.
  • Tangerine – Similar to clementines in that they are a subcategory of mandarin. Tangerines have tougher skins, are slightly less sweet, and contain seeds.
  • Lee Mandarin – More difficult to peel, but easily sectioned once they are, Lee Mandarins have seeds and are extremely sweet and juicy.
  • Satsuma Mandarin – Considered by some to be the easiest variety of mandarin to peel, satsumas are seedless, juicy, and sweet.

Orange – Thought to be a hybrid of Mandarins and Pomelos, Oranges are abundant in variety and flavor

  • Blood Orange – It’s the crimson flesh and dark red juice that give this popular citrus its name. The three types of blood orange are Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello. Their flavors range from tart to semi-sweet depending on the type and season.
  • Cara Cara Navel – This navel variety has pink flesh and is predominately sweet, with a little zip of tartness.
  • Navel Orange – Known for it’s distinctive “belly-button”, the Navel Orange is considered a winter citrus. It is seedless, relatively easy to peel and held in high esteem among citrus lovers.
  • Valencia Orange – Unlike most other citrus fruits, Valencia Oranges are considered to be in season during the summer. They have a high juice content and also carry seeds. You may sometimes see Valencia oranges with a green tinge on their skin, this is caused by chlorophyll that helps protect the orange from sunburn and does not effect the ripeness.

Pomelo – Thick, soft rinds encase juicy interiors in this largest and possibly oldest member of the citrus fruit family. While Pomelos aren’t very sweet, they don’t share the same bitterness found in grapefruits. While their skin is thick, it’s relatively easy to peel by hand.

Tangelo – The sweetness of the tangerine meets the tartness of pomelos or grapefruits, giving this flavorful hybrid an exotic and exciting flavor blast.

While certainly not comprehensive, we hope this list helps you on your citrus journey. Happy peeling!

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