Citrus Fruit 101

January 23, 2012

Winter time is when citrus fruits are plentiful in many supermarkets, before heading out to the store read this quick 101 on citrus

What are Citrus Fruits? Citrus included fruits of evergreen trees or shrubs (citrus of the Rue family). They are nutrient powerhouses with endless uses for eating, juicing and even housecleaning.

How to Buy: Buy fruit that is firm and heavy for its size with clear, bright-colored skin. Citrus is sold singly, in multi-packs, or large bags.

How to Read the Label: Check the PLU, the bulk of citrus is grown in Texas, California, Arizona, and Florida.

Choices: Oranges taste sweet/tart; types: navel, Valencia, and blood oranges. Grapefruits are sweet to tart, and are the largest of all citrus fruits; there are pink or white varieties. Tangerines (originally from Japan) are smaller with looser skin, therefore easier to peel and are sweeter than oranges; choices include Mandarins, Tangelos, Pixie, Clementines, and Satsuma. Lemons are sweet-tart or sweet, (Meyer, a native of China is sweet). Limes are more delicate, fragrant, slightly sweet. Other citrus include: citron, bergamot, kumquat, esrog, shaddock and many other varietals and hybrids. SupermarketGuru encourages you to try as many types of citrus as you can.

How to Use: Citurs fruits can be eaten alone, or as an ingredient in fruit salads, green leaf salads or in dressings, squeezed for juice or cut up in water or teas. Citrus can even be used as deodorant for garbage disposals, to clean hands after handling odiferous foods. Rinds can be preserved with sugar, or grated for zest.

How to Store: In well-ventilated, cool area for 2-3 days, then refrigerate. Bring to room temperature to juice or eat; the juice and zest of the fruit freeze well.

Health Benefits: All citrus is an excellent source of vitamins C, A, fiber, and antioxidants.

Smarter Shopper: For lower cost, and if your household consumes a lot of citrus, buy in 5-10lb bags.

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