The days are short, cold and often sunless this time of year, but you can find a burst of sunshine in your weekly produce delivery: Citrus Fruit. Thanks to our partnership with Thorpe's Organic Family Farm, we can deliver delicious, organic grapefruit, oranges and tangerines throughout these long winter months.
For more than a decade, the Thorpe Family, whose certified organic farm is located in East Aurora, has also grown citrus in Lake Wales, Florida.
Citrus fruits grow on flowering trees and shrubs. They are characterized by a leathery rind and white pith that encases juicy segments. Cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates all over the world, major production hubs include Spain, Brazil, China, the US, Mexico and India. Interestingly, nearly a third of all citrus fruits are used to make juice.
You can find all kinds of citrus fruits year round. The peak season for oranges and grapefruits in the Northern Hemisphere is between mid-December and April.
A note about Organic Citrus: Organic citrus may not always be the most beautiful. To achieve perfection, farmers sometimes use methods that are not approved for organic farming to improve the fruit's appearance. Depending on climate conditions, citrus may ripen while still green. Unlike some other fruits, ripeness is not determined by color. However, most people associate an Orange with the color orange. Therefore, some growers dye their fruit to obtain that signature color and improve their marketability. This is not allowed for organic citrus fruits. Further, organic labeled produce is prohibited from using genetically modified seeds which are often used to produce the best colors and to be more resistant to the elements.
While our Organic Citrus may be a little discolored on the outside, once you cut into it you'll see the inside looks perfect. The flavor is even better! So, if your citrus looks a little blotchy or green, take comfort in knowing it is completely safe, edible, and tasty.
Citrus fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient that strengthens the immune system and keeps your skin smooth and elastic. In fact, just one medium orange has all the vitamin C you need in a day. They also have good amounts of other vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly, including B vitamins, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper. Additionally, citrus is rich in plant compounds that have various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Hamlin: Sweet and juicy, the Hamlin orange is larger than other varieties and has few to no seeds, making it one of the best oranges for eating or juicing.
Sugar Bell: Sugar Bell oranges are rare breed of citrus fruit - a cross between the luscious Honeybell oranges and full-flavored Clementines, these oranges are super sweet, juicy and easy to peel. The size is perfect for snacking or packing in lunches.
Navel: Navels are part of the winter citrus family. They're seedless, peel easily, and are thought to be one of the world's best-tasting oranges. Because of the peculiar human-navel-like formation found opposite the stem-end, we can easily identify Navel Oranges from other cultivars or varieties. This belly-button like formation answers the question “Why are Navel Oranges called Navel Oranges?”
Tangerine: This citrus fruit are a subgroup of mandarins. Most commonly, mandarins that are reddish-orange and brightly colored tend to be labeled as tangerines. The taste is considered less sour, as well as sweeter and stronger, than that of an orange. Tangerines are most commonly peeled and eaten by hand.
Their bulbous size; bitter pith (the white stuff that surrounds the fruit); and tart taste can be off-putting to those who are more accustomed to their sweeter citrus cousins, like the orange. But consider adding this superfood to your regular rotation of healthy foods. It's among the 20 best breakfast foods.