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Brighten Up! Citrus Season Is Here

Bone-chilling winter means a tragic dearth of fresh fruits and veggies? Worry not! I’m here to bring the good news:

Sweet, bright, beautiful oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruits, pomelos, key limes, and more are at the peak of their wonderfulness. A lavish, juicy mandarin; or a salmon-hued, candy-sweet cara cara can lighten up the bleakest winter blues. 

Citrus fruits are available year-round, but most are at peak season December through March. That’s right now! Oranges and their citrus siblings have great health benefits: they’re high in fiber, calcium, Vitamin A, and folic acid. And, they’re chock full of Vitamin C–one orange contains around 116% of the daily suggested value of Vitamin C. Your immune system will thank you.

Meyer LemonAt Fairway, we  make sure to carry the coolest, best, freshest produce. We started out as a fruit and vegetable stand on the Upper West Side some 80 years ago. We eschew the idea of storing our fruits and veggies in warehouses for long stretches of time–a practice most grocery stores think nothing of. Our beautiful produce comes straight from the farmers to you. How do you know our produce is higher quality, eons fresher? It’s really simple–taste the difference.

But I digress. We’ve got some funky, fabulous citrus hitting our shelves right now! Here are some of my faves:

Blood OrangeBlood Orange (Coming very soon! We’re waiting with bated breath!)

Slice one open and marvel at its deep, deep red flesh. These crimson stunners have a lush sweetness and slightly bitter, totally satisfying aftertaste. So refreshing; so special. Eat as many of these as possible while you can get ‘em. The wild color is the result of anthocyanin pigments, which act as antioxidants–so they’re not just pretty, they’re great for you.

Etrog Citron

This ancient, sunshine-yellow Mediterranean citrus is different from its lemon/orange/lime cousins—the fragrant, edible part is not the flesh (which is dry and pulpless), but rather the thick rind, which is full of aromatic, wonderful essential oils. Used during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Also great zested over pasta or shrimp.

Sweet Lime

Also called sweet lemon, this citrus is native to South Asia. The pulp is greenish and the juice is sweet rather than acidic. Travel to Iran, and you’ll find mellow, tangy sweet lime juice for sale at road stands and little shops. Sky-high in Vitamin C and believed to be a powerful cold and flu remedy.

Fingered Citron

Also called Buddha’s Hand, this is a wildly cool and wonderful citron. This deep lemon-yellow fruits split at the opposite end of the tree’s stem, forming segments that look like fingers.  Its flesh is inedible, but its rind is powerfully fragrant and aromatic—and its zest is magical. Grate and infuse in spirits like vodka, use it to flavor sugar or salt, and substitute anywhere lemon zest is called for.

Happy holidays–and happy citrus season–from all of us Fairway Market.

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