Our Definitive Guide to Winter Citrus
Uninspired by the produce aisle during winter? Take another look at the citrus section! There are so many glorious varieties to explore that range in flavor from tart to sweet. Plus, the vitamin C-packed fruits couldn’t be more versatile in the kitchen. Whether you use the juice, zest, or fruit itself, they can brighten any sweet or savory dish. Here's our citrus cheat sheet for the next time you're at the store.
The pomelo, in season through early spring, is the largest fruit in the citrus family, weighing two to four pounds. Its thick rind is easily peeled for eating out of hand, and its crisp flesh has all the sweetness of grapefruit without the bitter edge. Try serving it with yogurt, adding it to a citrus salad, making it into marmalade, or even using it to brighten seared lamb chops.
The most well-known member of the mandarin family, sweet clementines are all about convenience -- they're seedless and easy to peel. They make ideal on-the-go snacks as well as delicious additions to everything from salads to desserts.
Take oranges beyond the juice glass! Whether you choose navel oranges or pink-fleshed Cara Caras, they'll add fresh bursts of flavor to anything you please. Bonus: one orange has a whole day's worth of vitamin C.
Intense in color and taste, blood oranges add a bit of drama and a lot of flavor to any recipe -- cocktails, desserts, salads, you name it. Look for the signature red blush in the peel to tell them apart from regular oranges.
There are few ingredients more vital in the kitchen than the humble lemon. Its acidity bridges the gap between the sweet and the savory and cuts through the richness of any dish. While classic Eureka and Lisbon lemons are our go-tos, we love splurging on pink lemons (also known as zebra lemons) when available. They're slightly less acidic, and the beautiful blush-pink interior makes them perfect for garnishing.
A cross between a lemon and a mandarin, Meyer lemons are sweeter and less acidic than regular lemons, with darker flesh and a smooth, bright-yellow rind. While the hybrid fruit is most often used in desserts, it works just as well in the savory realm.
This is definitely the most unusual citrus. It's a type of citron that's super fragrant, has these finger-like sections, and most notably, is all rind (there's no pulp, juice, or seeds). Use it in pretty much any recipe calling for lemon zest, and you'll be rewarded with some intense citrus flavor.
There's a reason that so many recipes call for serving with lime wedges. The tart fruit can wake up just about any dish and is often integral to a balanced cocktail. Most supermarkets carry limes while they're still dark green -- the color becomes lighter as the fruit ripens.
Key limes are almost always associated with the iconic pie, but they can be used for so much more. Also known as Mexican or West Indian limes, they're super aromatic and contain a surprisingly large amount of juice. You can distinguish them from regular limes by their smaller size and thin, leathery skin.