Green, pink, orange or yellow, large or small, citrus fruits can be sweet, but they're usually tart. That taste comes from healthy acid in the fruit. Reach for citrus when you need a boost of vitamin C.
A Bergamot is a bitter orange grown primarily in the province of Reggio Calabria in Italy. Its rind is actually a key ingredient in Earl Grey tea and its oils are used in perfumes and aromatherapy. Citrus growers worldwide have tried to plant bergamot, but it only grows correctly in the special soil of Reggio Calabria.
The blood orange is a slightly bitter orange very popular in Italy. The fruit's dark red pulp is caused by a compound commonly found in flowers, never in citrus. How dark the flesh gets is a direct result of the light and heat the orange gets while it's growing.
A Clementine is a variety of mandarin orange. This fruit is unique because it has no seeds. The Clementines Americans eat during the summer are grown on the other side of the world. Clementines in the Northern Hemisphere grow best from November to January, earning the name “Christmas Oranges."
Originally discovered in Barbados, grapefruit comes in two major varieties, white and pink, also called Ruby Red. Grapefruits are very healthy and great source of vitamin C. They grow in very warm climates and their seeds have been used by “holistic," or natural, doctors for centuries to fight bacteria and infection.
Lemons are super-tart yellow fruit, high in vitamin C. They make a delicious and refreshing summer drink. They are very acidic and they make a great preservative for foods that turn yellow when exposed to air, like apples. Did you know that some lemon trees can grow up to 33 feet tall?
Limes are used in cooking for their juice and their "zest," or skin. In the 19th century, sailors and pirates who were away from fruits and vegetables for months at a time often got "scurvy," a vitamin C shortage. To prevent it, ships carried tons of limes.
A mandarin has a rind that detaches easily from the fruit, making it easy to peel. It is a small, dark orange that's slightly pumpkin-shaped. Mandarin oranges have seeds, and their fragrant peel has been used in traditional herbal medicine for centuries to recharge the spirit and help digestion.
The thick section at the bottom of a navel orange is actually a twin, a second orange that starts growing underneath the fruit. This is a genetic mutation of a regular tree. As an added benefit, these oranges cannot grow seeds, so they are a perfect seedless treat. Navel oranges have exactly eleven sections.
Tangerines are often compared to the Clementine, with two major differences. Tangerines aren't as sweet as Clementines and they have seeds in every section, like most other oranges. The first tangerines in the world were shipped from a port in the Moroccan city of Tangiers, hence their name.
The yuzu is a small Asian citrus fruit. It's small and primarily used in cooking because of its strong flavor and strong-smelling rind. It is the key ingredient in Chinese ponzu sauce. It doesn't need a lot of heat - yuzu can actually ripen in temperatures as low as negative five degrees Celsius.