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At Season's Peak

Florida Citrus

Florida Citrus

Most citrus is an excellent source of vitamin C (also known as the antioxidant ascorbic acid).

 

Tangerines


Easy-to-peel, split into sections

Growing Facts

Tangerines are a versatile citrus fruit, able to thrive in several different types of Florida soil. There are two main Florida-native varieties: the Sunburst and the Honey. Sunburst tangerines are hybrid fruits, blending the sweetness and dark red color of the mandarin with the juiciness of the Orlando tangelo. They're available in November and December. Honey tangerines are distinct in that they grow on the outside canopy of the tree. This is significant because their increased exposure to sunlight boosts their sugar content, making them sweeter. They're available January through April.

Usage

Tangerines are quite the treat when eaten out of hand. They can also be used in salads, desserts, and main dishes.

Selection

A quality tangerine will be firm to slightly soft, heavy for its size, and pebbly-skinned with no deep grooves. Depending on the variety, coloring will be deep orange to almost red.

Storage

Tangerines can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator crisper drawer for up to two weeks. Whole fruit should NOT be frozen.

Avoid

Avoid tangerines that are soft, spongy, or have spots of slight brown discoloring and/or dull and faded coloring overall.

Nutrition Facts

Tangerines are an excellent source of vitamin C, and contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

Ruby Red Grapefruit


Few seeds, great for eating or juicing

Growing Facts

Ruby Red Grapefruits are native only to Florida and available November to May. They are juicier and slightly sweeter in flavor than their other grapefruit relatives from the subtropics. That's because Florida's humid climate thins the outer peel of the fruit, allowing it to hold even more moisture. Ruby Reds also grow especially plump thanks to Florida's mildly acidic soil.

Usage

Enjoy Ruby Red Grapefruits in salads, desserts, or a bowl with a spoon. They can also be used in cooking. The oil from grapefruit peels is prized for its aroma and used in aromatherapy.

Selection

When picking your Ruby Red Grapefruit, check that the skin is smooth, firm, and shiny. Select fruit that is medium to large and heavy for its size. Most Ruby Reds have a rich yellow coloring and a slight rose-colored blush to the skin, while others are yellow. Some varieties "re-green" if they remain on the tree long enough. This means that color does not indicate ripeness, nor does it affect the flavor or quality of the fruit.

Storage

Store grapefruit at room temperature for up to one week, may keep two to three weeks in the refrigerator. Whole fruit should NOT be frozen.

Avoid

Avoid grapefruit that is soft, or that has dull or wrinkled skin with deep folds.

Nutrition Facts

Ruby Red Grapefruits contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol, and are excellent sources of vitamins A and C.

Juice Oranges


Growing Facts

You can typically find two types of juice oranges in our store: Hamlins and Valencias. Hamlin oranges are best from October through January, and are the most widely grown early-season sweet oranges in Florida. They are small to medium in size, display adequate color with few (0-6) seeds, and have a smooth, thin peel. The tree they grow on is tolerant of cold temperatures, and usually blossoms before the onset of winter freezes. Valencia oranges are the dominant juice orange grown mid- to late-season, typically mid-January through June. They are small to medium in size, have a smooth peel with good orange color, very few seeds if any, and a wonderful flavor. However, the trees are susceptible to cold weather and disease.

Usage

Hamlins and Valencias are great for juicing, with two to four oranges producing one cup of juice.

Selection

The best juicing oranges should be heavy for their size and thin-skinned with smooth, finely textured skin.

Storage

Hamlins and Valencias can be stored up to two weeks at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Fresh squeezed juice can be stored in the refrigerator overnight, but should be chilled immediately in a tightly covered container if you'll be keeping it longer.

Avoid

Appearance is not so important for juicing oranges, but do avoid oranges that are soft, or have dull or rough, grooved, wrinkled skin.

Nutrition Facts

Juicing oranges are a good source of fiber and contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol. They also provide 130% of your Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin C.