Citrus Fruit

Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits have stippled rinds that surround pulp that's tart, juicy, and rich in vitamin C and other nutrients.


Most citrus fruits are first peeled, then the pulp is either eaten out of hand or squeezed to make juice, but some, like the kumquat, are eaten peel and all. The peels contain fragrant oils, and their zest is often used to flavor foods.


When buying citrus fruit, select specimens that are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size. They keep longer if you store them in the refrigerator.


Varieties:


bergamot orange
bergamot orange
This is a small acidic orange, used for its peel. The flesh is too bitter and sour to be eaten raw. Don't confuse it with the bergamot herb.
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blood orange, pigmented orange, raspberry orange
blood orange
These red-fleshed oranges are more popular in Europe than in the United States. Look for them in the winter and spring.
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Buddha's hand citron, Buddha's fingers citron, Buddha's hand, fingered citron
Buddha's hand citron
This fragrant fruit has hardly any flesh, but the peel can be candied
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citron, cedro, yuzu
citron
This resembles a large, bumpy lemon. Its thick rind is used to make marmalade, and its zest is a close substitute to lemon zest.
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grapefruit
grapefruit
A grapefruit is a large, slightly tart kind of citrus fruit. The rind is yellow, though often tinged with green or red. Grapefruits are categorized by the color of their pulp: red, pink, or "white" (actually honey-colored). The color of the pulp doesn't affect the flavor. When buying grapefruit, select specimens that are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size. Some varieties are seedless. They're best in the winter and spring.
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kaffir lime, jeruk purut, leech lime, limau purut, magrood, makroot, makrut
kaffir lime
Thai cooks use these golf ball-sized limes to give their dishes a unique aromatic flavor. Kaffir limes have very little juice, usually just the zest is used. The leaves are also used in Thai cooking.
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kalamansi, calamansi, calamansi lime, kalamansi lime, musk lime, musklime
kalamansi
The very sour kalamansi looks like a small round lime and tastes like a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It's very popular in the Philippines.
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key lime, bartender's lime, Florida key lime, Mexican lime, Omani lime
key lime
These are smaller and more acidic than the more common Persian limes.
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kumquat
kumquat
These look like grape-sized oranges, and they can be eaten whole. The flavor is a bit sour and very intense. They peak in the winter months.
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lemon
lemon
This very sour citrus fruit is rarely eaten out of hand, but it's widely used for its juice, rind, and zest. Varieties include the Eureka lemon, which is what you're most likely to find in markets, the Lisbon lemon, which shows up in the winter and is smaller and smoother than the Eureka, and the trendy Meyer lemon, which is much sweeter and pricier than an ordinary lemon. When buying lemons, select specimens that are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size.
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lime, Persian lime
lime
These tart green fruits are similar to lemons, but they're more acidic and have their own unique flavor. Varieties include the common Persian lime = Tahiti lime and the smaller, less juicy, and more acidic Florida key lime = key lime = Mexican lime. When buying limes, select specimens that are dark green, smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size.
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limequat
limequat
This is a cross between a lime and a kumquat. It's similar in size and shape to a kumquat, but with a green or yellow-green skin. It has a strong lime flavor.
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mandarin orange, tangerine, temple orange
mandarin orange
These have a pleasant enough flavor, but their big asset is that they come out of their peels and segment easily, so you can eat them in your good clothes. Varieties include the popular tangerine, the seedy but juicy honey tangerine = Murcott, the satsuma orange, the sweet and tiny clementine orange, and the seedy and orange-flavored temple orange.
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Meyer lemon
Meyer lemon
This is sweeter than an ordinary lemon, and highly prized by gourmet chefs.
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orange, sweet orange
orange
Most American oranges are produced in Florida and California. Florida oranges are juicier, and better suited to squeezing, while California oranges segment more easily and are better for eating out of hand. The best oranges are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size.
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pomelo, Chinese grapefruit, pummelo, shaddock
pomelo
This has a very thick peel, so you have to work to get at the pulp. Many people think it's worth the trouble, for a pomelo is milder and sweeter than its closest substitute, the grapefruit.
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rangpur lime, lemandarin, mandarin lime
rangpur lime
This is similar to a mandarin orange, only more acidic.
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Seville orange, bigarade orange, bitter orange, marmalade orange, sour orange
Seville orange
These are too bitter to eat out of hand, but they make a wonderful orange marmalade and the sour juice is perfect for certain mixed drinks.
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tangelo
tangelo
There are several different varieties of tangelos, each a cross between a tangerine and another citrus fruit. The Mineola, a tangerine-grapefruit cross, is especially popular. Look for them in markets from late fall through winter.
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ugli fruit, Jamaican tangelo, uniq fruit
ugli fruit
This grapefruit-mandarin cross looks like a grapefruit in an ill-fitting suit. It's sweet and juicy, though, and simple to eat since the peel comes off easily and the fruit pulls apart into tidy segments that are virtually seedless. Americans pronounce the name "ugly," but in Jamaica, where it's grown, it's pronounced "HOO-glee." Some marketers have tried calling it "Uniq fruit®," but the name hasn't caught on much. Ugli fruit are available from December through April. Most specimens are much uglier than the one pictured here, but don't let that deter you. Select fruits that are heavy for their size, and that give a little when you press them.
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