Citrus season is here at last! You might want to citrus self down for this one, because despite some delays, we’ve got more citrus varietals than ever this year. They’re coming in so quickly and so fresh you won’t be able to find them on our website just yet, but they’ll be easy to spot in our store. Thanks to our rockstar Produce Buyer, Laura Rose Dailey, even the basics have a little something extra!
Basics like heirloom navel oranges from Rising Ranches in California, a small fruit operation that only picks tree-ripened fruit for the highest quality harvest. They’re bringing us other citrus, too, like iconic blood oranges, candy-sweet Cara Cara oranges, and lesser-known sour Sevilles. Sevilles aren’t your everyday snacking orange, known for their deep, bitter flavor traditionally used in marmalades. They bring real complexity, too, to classic citrus treats like key lime pie—use these in your custard instead for a fresh twist!
Rising Ranches isn’t the only farm supplying our produce department with uncommon citrus. Buck Brand Citrus, operating from Deer Creek Heights Ranch—also from California—is responsible for the massive pomelos you won’t be able to help but notice on your next visit. Not just any pomelos, either—these are African Shaddock pomelos, a strain of pomelos with all the bright flavor you expect, but noticeably lower acidity and sourness. Other easily noshable varieties lining our shelves include satsumas and staff favorite Sumo mandarins. Both feature a handle for easy peeling, whether the satsuma’s long shiny leaves or the Sumo’s hefty nub that matches its considerable size. Don’t count out limequats, either! A cross between limes and kumquats, limequats are a perfect balance of sweetness and mouth-puckering sourness you won’t want to put down.
Chefs and aspiring cooks alike won’t just want to try the Seville, either. Sorrento lemons (also known as Santa Teresa lemons), easily identified by their knobbly peel, are the lemon of choice for making limoncello liqueur, and Wine & Spirits is stocked up with all the clear spirits you’ll need for that project. Meyer lemons have earned their notoriety for being the perfect baking lemon, of course. You don’t have to make your own Earl Grey with Bergamot lemons, whose floral sweetness gives the tea its signature aroma, but we won’t stop you, either.
Reading through this, you might wonder: Why is it all coming from faraway California? Doesn’t citrus come from Florida? The answer is that a tough few growing seasons, coupled with Florida harvesting laws, means very little citrus is coming from Florida right now. Growers are hard at work recovering their groves, and some experts say that work is already starting to pay off. In the meantime, we’ll be supporting small ranches and farms where we can to bring you the zest of the season.