Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Guide to Winter Citrus

Walking into Whole Foods the other week, I was surprised by the variety of citrus piled high atop each other - clementines, heirlooms navels, pomelos, satsumas, all delicious just waiting to be eaten.  I decided to take the guess work out of all of the citrus gracing shelves right now so that you can better navigate the produce section whether you are looking for a great snack, citrus without seeds or just a piece of fruit that tastes just like candy.  I hope you enjoy!

Heirloom Navel (seedless): The Heirloom Navel is fairly similar to the typical Navel orange except they are grown using certain farming techniques to ensure that they deliver the best taste. Unlike the latter, thee soil is given special attention to allow for a slightly different taste.  They can be found in stores between December and April. 

Pomelo (seedless): A beauty, if only for it's chartreuse and blush color, the pomelo which stems from Asia is larger than a grapefruit and has a spongy white interior and juicy light pink flesh. It is sweeter than a red grapefruit, incredibly juicy and low in calories.  Pomelos are available from November to May.  

Blood Orange (seedless): With a typical orange exterior and a saturated ruby interior, it is no wonder that the Blood Orange is one of the prettiest citrus fruits.  It's vibrant maroon color is due to it's high level of  anthocyanin, an antioxidant also found in raspberries.  They have a thicker rind which can make them harder to peel, so incorporating them into salads is a great idea.  Blood Oranges are available from January to May.  
Cara Cara Orange (seedless): Grown in California, the Cara Cara orange is an incredibly sweet member of the citrus family with lower acidity than most others.  They have a beautiful reddish/orange pigment and are packed with Vitamin A & C, folate and lycopene.  They are readily available from December to April.

Red Grapefruit (seeds):  A bit tarter than the Pomelo, the Red Grapefruit is not far behind in delivering a slightly sweet and incredibly aromatic citrus taste. They deliver a large dose of Vitamin C, beta carotene and lycopene.  Red Grapefruits are excellent eaten alone or incorporated into a citrus salad and are available from November through the late spring.  

Temple Orange (seeds): A hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange, the Temple orange is a fleeting winter citrus available for a few months between December and March.  The skin is easy to peel and is similar to that of a clementine, while they have a few seeds, the sweet and juicy interior makes you look past that annoyance.   

Honey Tangerine (seeds): Honey Tangerines are a sweet and juicy variety only grown in Florida and is a cross between a tangerine and a sweet orange.  This variety is great to use for juice, incorporated into a vinaigrette or baking as they are hard to peel and can have up to 12 to 24 seeds inside.  They are available from January to April.   

Clementine (seedless): The clementine is a cross between a mandarin and a sweet orange making for a great crowd-pleaser. They are super sweet, easy to peel and segment making them as tempting as candy, but without the guilt.  One clementine delivers more than half of your recommended Vitamin C intake for the day.  The Clementines are available from October to February and are primarily imported from Spain and Morocco.

Tangelo (seeds): The Tangelo, recognized for it's knob-like protrusion is a cross between a grapefruit and tangerine.  They have a medium rind that is relatively easy to peel and are great in salads.  Tangelos are available from December to February.  

Satsumas (seedless): Clementines used to be my favorite until I discovered the Satsumas, a leafy and vibrant citrus that I actually prefer over dessert!  Incredibly easy to peel, the satsumas, also known as Honey Citrus are one of the sweetest members of the citrus family with delicate flesh that allows them to practically melt in your mouth. They are available from October to February.  

Kumquat (seeds): Before this post I had never tried a kumquat, typically I will try anytime of fruit but I was never drawn into the idea of eating a rind, if you didn't know you eat the whole thing.  But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, they are delicious!  The rind is actually sweet while the inside is tart and bursting with juicy flavor.  Kumquats have seeds that you can remove or eat.  They are available from November through April.  

*Photographs & Styling by Alison 


  1. You outdit yourself with the photos...in love with the second one...pinning asap.

  2. again, here you go with incredible photography. Ditto to what Albertina said. Just pinned!

    The Style Scribe

  3. These are gorgeous, Alison! I have a serious love affair with blood oranges. So delicious!

  4. Great photos! Clementines have been my favorite snack lately

  5. These photos really are stunning! I recently had a sweetie, which is a cross between a pomelo & a grapefruit, and it was the most delicious thing EVER

  6. This is amazing! I probably haven't tried most of these but I love clementines! I really want to try satsumas now!

  7. What amazing photographs! They would be so great printed out and framed in a kitchen. I have eaten countless clementines these past few weeks, but this is inspiring me to maybe break out of my shell and try to other oranges/citrus options!