See you at the Market!

Guide to Winter Citrus

Tuesday 12th July 2022

Lemons, mandarins and oranges – oh my! You’ll be spoiled for choice this season with so many different varieties of citrus in abundance and readily available from our Harvest Hall fruiterers throughout the colder months.

Not sure what’s best at this time of year? We’ve put together a quick guide to winter citrus to help you navigate your Market citrus shop.

Selecting and storing winter citrus

When shopping for citrus, be sure to choose fruit that’s heavy for its size, as this indicates the fruit is packed full of delicious, nutritious juice. You’ll also want to avoid skin that’s too soft or shrivelled.

Citrus is perfectly ripe and sweet when picked, so storing over time won’t make your citrus fruits any sweeter. In saying this, it’s best to store citrus in your refrigerator or inside a cool dry place in your kitchen.

Winter citrus varieties

As we mentioned earlier, there are so many citrus varieties at their very best in the winter months. Here’s a few to look out for when Harvest Hall wandering:

Lemons

Lemons have become a staple in Aussie cooking, adding depth and flavour to a variety of homemade meals, both savoury and sweet. They’re also packed full of Vitamin C and fibre, and can be used to their full potential even as leftovers. 

Mandarins

Regular Market shoppers would have noticed the most popular mandarin variety, Imperial, filling fruiterer’s shelves lately and they are available right up until October. These beauties are easy to peel, have few seeds, if any, and have a delicious sweet flavour. All of these features make them a great addition to the kids’ lunches (and parents’ lunches too!).

Oranges

Oranges are storehouses of Vitamin C, making it the staple fruit to add to your shopping list during cold and flu season. 

Navels are one of the most popular orange varieties, readily available up until October. They are sweet, juicy and rich in orange colour, not to mention seedless and easy to peel. 

You’ll also spot Tangelos popping up in the Market – a hybrid of tangerines and the grapefruit-like pomelo. They have bright, reddish-orange skin and a tart, tangy flavour profile. Tangelos are also incredibly juicy and have medium to low acidity.

Later in the season, keep an eye out for blood oranges – our favourite citrus at this time of year! This zesty fruit has double the recommended daily intake of vitamin C and looks deceptively like regular oranges, until they are cut open to reveal a gorgeous red flesh. Along with this distinctive hue, you’ll notice that blood oranges have a subtle raspberry flavour – yum!

Cumquats

One of the lesser known fruits in the citrus family is the humble cumquat. This citrus variety is small in size, juicy and tart in flavour, and has a segmented and seedy flesh. One notable feature of the cumquat is its edible rind, which adds even more flavour to the tangy flesh of the fruit, making it easy to use the entire fruit, preventing food waste.

Cumquats are also a low-calorie fruit and contain many beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, flavonoids, and metallic minerals.

Cooking with citrus fruits

From hearty savoury meals to winter salads, sweet tarts and puddings, there are many ways to utilise this season’s citrus flavours. To get the best out of your citrus fruits and load up on all that Vitamin C, we’d suggest eating your citrus fruit fresh or added to sweet and savoury cooking. 

Try adding winter oranges and mandarins to your salsas and salads. These varieties, along with lemons, also pair beautifully with fish, pork, poultry, ham and veal.

Sweet tooths will also love oranges, mandarins and lemons in custards, muffins, pies and cakes, and don’t forget lemon or cumquat tart as a delicious winter dessert option. 

Need a little citrus inspo in the kitchen? Check out our collection of recipes featuring winter citrus fruits below.

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