Mouthwatering, aromatic, energizing – Citrus is the genus name for the many varieties of delicious fruit we enjoy all year, and have in abundance when most are in season over the winter in North America.
The orange, perhaps the most well-known citrus fruit to Americans, is an ancient hybrid, a cross between a pomelo and a mandarin, thought to have originated in the region now known as Southern China and Northern India. The first mention of the sweet orange was in Chinese literature in 314 B.C.!
The fruit, juice and peel of the sweet orange are all flavor and benefit components of this citrus superstar – over 70% of citrus farming is for sweet oranges, per 2012 data. In 2017, 73 million tons of oranges were grown worldwide. Sweet oranges, including the Hamlin (juice oranges) and navel (easy-peel) oranges are grown in the USA in Florida and California.
The Citrus family includes oranges, Cara Cara oranges, blood oranges, lemons, Meyer lemons, limes, Key limes, mandarins, pomelos, tangerines, and tangelos – a beautiful, delicious and colorful family of fruits that bring aromatic flavor, color and texture to all types of meals and snacks. All are good sources of Vitamin C, essential to immunity and skin health. They also contain phytochemicals like polyphenols, terpenes and tannins – those active compounds have both health and flavor benefits, and research is ongoing to understand their full benefits.
The acidity of citrus fruits is the secret to their charm – the different levels of acidity bring flavor and balance to foods and recipes, and can create texture and tenderness. In order, from highest to lowest acid content, are lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges. We will be sharing more blogs, culinary tips, science and health, recipes and more during this peak citrus season as it rolls out from January to April. Single and bagged displays and great values will help you energize your cart and your plate with fresh, delicious citrus fruits all season!
Kick off with this Citrus Glazed Fruit Salad recipe – squeezed fresh orange juice amps up the flavor, and you can mix in orange, mandarin and grapefruit segments anytime!
This Citrus Basil Spritzer is a sweet and herbaceous take on agua fresca sparkles with fresh flavors!
Pretty and delicious – this yummy Spinach Pomegranate Orange Salad with Quick Pickled Red Onions winter salad includes in-season oranges and pomegranates! Some fresh Pulled Roasters Rotisserie Chicken from the Food Service case makes it a meal!