Winter may feel like it’s abating as this balmy February washes over us, but the zest part of winter is just getting started. It’s citrus season! This week we’re bringing a bit of sunshine to our shelves in the form of these seasonal fruits. One of the many groves we’re working with is Bernard Ranches in California. From making the nitrogen-rich mushroom compost to managing the water conserving drip irrigation system, they’re as busy as the gophers they wrangle by hand on the farm. The Bernards also avoid synthetic pesticides and herbicides, instead implementing IPM (integrated pest management) by deploying beneficial insects in the grove, like lacewings and ladybugs. Now their hard work is paying off; spring can wait while we savor the fruits of their labor.
Coming to us from Bernard Ranches, we’ve brought in the Tangelo and the Oro Blanco, grown with IPM. The juicy Tangelo is also known as the Honeybell, thanks to its distinctive bell shape and delicate, appealing flavor. You may not be competing in this year’s Olympics, but you can still go for the gold with the Oro Blanco. Translated as white gold from Spanish, Oro Blanco brings the fragrant aroma and sweetness of a pomelo and the tartness of a classic grapefruit together into a real champion of a fruit.
Our organic citrus offerings this season feature classics like the Navel Orange, the Ruby Red Grapefruit, and hefty Pomelos, but look out for the Kishu as one of our newest additions. While these tiny mandarins were first grown in Japan, they have a real tangy history, stemming from an ancient variety of Chinese mandarin originally discovered in the Tang Dynasty. Their roomy peel and surprisingly big flavor make them great for a quick snack, but you may not be able to stop at one.
For the folks who just don’t Cara Cara ’bout all that, there’s conventionally raised Sumo mandarins and Cara Cara oranges. The Sumo Mandarin’s name is a nod to both its Japanese heritage and its impressive size; they’re easy to peel and super flavorful, making them a favorite with Provisions staff. The Cara Cara is considered a natural evolution of your friendly neighborhood Navel orange, first discovered in Venezuela in the 70’s. Its red flesh, while not as dark as a blood orange, is highly sweet without the acidity of a traditional orange.
Not to be pithy, but we think you might want to citrus self down while you send your taste buds into the transformative sunny world of seasonal citrus!