We invite you to check out some of the amazing citrus we have to offer this season and enjoy something new, whether in a cocktail, a sauce, a baked good, or enjoyed on its own. You may find a new favorite!
Stem & Leaf Seedless Mandarins – $1.99/lb.
Mandarins are a smaller relative of the standard orange, and one of the sweetest members of the orange family. Most of the mandarins found in the United States are grown right here in California, where they thrive in the warm sunshine. Once you bring them home, make sure to store mandarins in a cool, dark place like the fridge, where they’ll last from 2 to 4 weeks.
Because of their small size, sweet taste, and easy-to-peel skin, Mandarins make the perfect snack. But don’t shy away from using mandarins as a substitute for oranges in most recipes – especially salads, breakfast bowls, and drinks! We love this recipe for Yuzu Miso Glazed Salmon from our friends at Bachan’s (the makers of Bachan’s Japanese Barbecue Sauce). You might also try this recipe for Mandarin-Infused Vodka or Mandarin Marmalade.
Organic Local Meyer Lemons – $2.49/lb.
Let’s get one thing straight: Meyer Lemons are not conventional lemons; conventional lemons wish they could be half as tasty as Meyer Lemons. A cross between the famously sweet mandarin orange and the lemons most of us know, Meyer Lemons exemplify the best aspects of both. They’re noticeably smaller and darker in color than their conventional counterparts, looking more like an orange than a lemon, and the scent is closer to a bergamot and strangely complex. The flesh itself is far less acidic than an ordinary lemon and also far sweeter; this makes Meyers the ultimate lemon for baking with, as the flavor is far sweeter and more nuanced that conventional lemons.
While Meyer lemons are most often used in desserts, we think they’re the perfect choice for this flavorful Lemon Risotto! You might also try this Meyer-Lemongrass Collins for a refreshingly unique cocktail, or this recipe for Asparagus Lemon Gluten-Free Pizza. You can’t go wrong with a classic like Local Meyer Lemon Curd! The Organic Meyer Lemons we have featured this week are grown by our friends at D.M.S. Ranch in Sebastopol, CA and brought to use by F.E.E.D Cooperative!
Kumquats – $5.99/lb.
These bite-sized citrus fruits are bursting with flavor! These little gems are completely edible, making them ideal for cooking and snacking alike. While Kumquats do contain a small amount of very tart juicy flesh, the real flavor lies in the skin; eaten whole, they offer an intense burst of citrus flavor with a tart, tangy finish. When selecting yours, opt for those that are bright orange and about 2 inches long; avoid kumquats with a green cast to the skin, as they are under ripe!
Kumquats hold up well to cooking and are great for savory or sweet preparations. Slice them into coins to add to this Fresh Mixed Greens Salad with Kumquats and Pistachios. Or you could try this recipe for a Kumquat and Lavender Shrub Mocktail! You can even use kumquats in a homemade marmalade, or add to roasts and sauces for deliciously intense citrus flavor.
Star Ruby Red Grapefruit – 99¢ ea.
Grapefruit is considered a superfood by many, and these gorgeous Star Ruby Red Grapefruits are no exception. Inside their unassuming yellow skin hides the ruby red flesh from which they get their name. The flavor is what we think of when we think of grapefruit: sweet and tart with just a hint of bitterness. In fact, the redder the flesh, the sweeter the grapefruit! When selecting yours, select those which are highly aromatic and heavy for their size, with a blush of pink that indicates ideal ripeness.
Packed with Vitamin C, lycopene, and a whole host of other vital nutrients, Ruby Red Grapefruits make a great, healthy breakfast or snack all on their own, but they are also fantastic in more complex preparations. We love to mix the juice into cocktails or mocktails for its bright color and flavor – try it in this amazing Sparkling Citrus Mocktail!
Cara Cara Oranges – 99¢ ea.
Cara Cara oranges are a type of winter orange known for their sweet flavor, low acidity, and pinkish-red flesh, similar to the color of pink grapefruit. They are commonly used for juicing and for snacking on raw, as well as in fruit salads, green salads, desserts, and sauces.
Unlike conventional navel oranges, whose juice can become slightly bitter when exposed to oxygen, Cara Cara oranges produce a sweet juice. And, because they’re seedless, they are particularly useful for adding to fruit salads, green salads, and salsas, as well as in cooked dishes featuring poultry, seafood, and vegetables. Desserts and sweets like muffins, tarts, cookies, cakes, and quick breads are also excellent ways to highlight their sweet, berry-like flavor. We love what Cara Cara Oranges bring to this recipe for a Citrus Sunrise cocktail!
Blood Oranges – $1.49/lb.
Blood oranges are a rather gruesome name for a wonderfully sweet and beautifully colored citrus fruit. They tend to be a bit smaller than other types of oranges, with a thick, pitted skin that may or may not have a reddish blush, but they look like regular oranges from the outside. The inside flesh is brilliantly dark pink, maroon, or even dark blood red. The red color is the result of anthocyanin, which develops when these citrus fruits ripen during warm days tempered with cooler nights.
Blood oranges tend to be easier to peel than other oranges, often have fewer seeds, and have a sweeter taste. The fruit can be eaten as is, juiced, or used in baked goods, cocktails, salads, or other dishes that call for oranges. Along with their lovely red color, blood oranges tend to have a noticeable and delicious raspberry edge to their flavor. Try them in a Blood Orange Bourbon Smash, or even in this recipe for Niman Ranch Pork Chops with Blood Orange Sauce!
Organic Minneola Tangelos – $1.29/lb.
Minneola tangelos are a part of the Citrus genus and are a hybrid variety belonging to the Rutaceae family. The orange-red fruits were developed in the late 20th century in the United States and are sometimes known as Honeybells, a descriptor given for the fruit’s sweet flavor and bell-like shape. Despite their primarily seedless nature and favorable, sweet-tart taste, Minneola tangelos are not commercially cultivated on a wide scale and are a challenging variety to find.
Minneola tangelos have a sweet-tart, tangy flavor best suited for raw applications. The fruits can be easily peeled, segmented, and consumed straight, out-of-hand, or they can be stirred into pasta or tossed into green salads. The flesh can also be mixed into fruit salads with other citrus varieties, chopped into salsa, blended into smoothies, cocktails, juices, and other beverages, or pressed into juice and incorporated into salad dressings, sauces, and vinaigrettes. Minneola tangelos can be used as a tart substitute for mandarin oranges and are a favored flavoring for syrups, cakes, cookies, and brownies.
Pomelos – $3.99/lb.
Often referred to as the “King of Citrus Fruits”, Pomelos are one of the largest and sweetest of citrus fruits – some growing to the size of basketballs! While they are native to Asia, Pomelos are grown commercially throughout Southeast Asia, China, Mexico, Florida, and Southern California. Pomelos, also sometimes called pamplemousse, can vary in color, from dark green to pale yellow. When cut open, you may see the inner fruit in shades of white, orange, or pink.
Pomelos can be eaten fresh, or be used to help finish both sweet and savory dishes. These citrus fruits have a very thick rind, so your best bet is to score the outside in quarters with a sharp knife, then peel the skin back like a banana. The rinds can be made into candy, or even pickled, so don’t compost them too soon! A simple, yet traditional way to enjoy Pomelo is by enjoying them fresh with a sprinkle of salt and a dash of chili powder. You might also like it in this Pomelo Gin Fizz!
Organic Gold Nugget Mandarins – $1.99/lb.
Gold Nugget Mandarins are a seedless, sweet fruit named after its bright orange, slightly bumpy rind. They’re not your typical tiny golden gem you can tuck in your pocket – these are a giant compared to the mandarins you’ll typically find! Underneath its surprisingly bumpy exterior is an ultra-sweet fruit you’ll love! Gold Nugget Mandarns were considered by a professional taste panel to be one of the best flavored citrus in the world!
This hybrid is a cross between two noncommercial tangerine varieties: the Wilking and Kincy, by the University of California at Riverside. When shopping, be sure to pick ones that feel heavy for their size and are bright in color, not dull.
Don’t Miss Out on These A-peel-ing Gems!
The world of citrus is full of possibilities, but we hope we have succeeded in curating a great selection of options to explore. We’re featuring the best of the best and invite you to pick up some favorites and make a new discovery, too! Our Produce Department team is also standing by, ready to answer your questions.
CommentsAdd a comment
Thank you for the fascinating citrus article.! So informative. Who knew…I did not. PS Love the employees at Oliver’s. Always helpful. Keep up the good work. Sincerely,Gisa Tours.
Comment by Gisa Tours on February 2, 2022 at 8:16 am
This is a fascinating and informative article about citrus. Thank you!
Comment by Emily Evans on February 2, 2022 at 8:25 am