The Book of Citrus

Share this post

Jonathan Sauer, in his book Historical Geography of Crop Plants: A Select Roster, notes that, “Almost nothing is certain about the natural geography and ecology of truly wild citrus. Both the distribution and genetics of the genus have been drastically modified in Asia by human intervention.”   Citrus is believed to have originated somewhere in Southeast Asia or Southern China but it has naturally evolved and hybridized itself so that it is hard to find its pure roots.  Generally speaking, however, there are some  types of citrus that have emerged over time into distinct groups.

pomello

Limes, Pommelos, and Mandarins are three main groupings of citrus that can be seen as parents to some of the modern citrus we eat today.     Lemons are natural hybrids of Limes and Citrons.   Grapefruits are crosses of Pommelos and sweet oranges.   Mandarins are the family from which most of the orange fruits originate.   From Tangelos, a cross between a mandarin and grapefruit, to Satsumas and Valencia Oranges (another Pommelo and mandarin cross), variations of mandarin citrus are grown and enjoyed worldwide.   Mandarins were cultivated widely in Asia early on which gave us the many variations we eat today. It wasn’t until the 17th century that citrus was cultivated outside of Asia.

I think that one of the most interesting distinctions in terms of taste is the comparison between Tangelos like the Minneola or the Royal Mandarin (in which you can pick up a grapefruit note pretty clearly) and the more tangerine-kinds of mandarins such as the Satsuma, Pixie, or Murcot (which have more sharp and sweet flavors).   Both are considered mandarins but their tastes vary wildly.   I recently explained the different varieties on a Fresno morning show. You can watch it in our Press section at fruitguys.com. Many of these citrus have been featured in our crates lately.     Also, as always, check out our website to see what’s in your mix this week at www.fruitguys.com - just click on the ladybug on the center right of the home page.   We have updated our mix format recently so that the images are easier to see.   We’re still making tweaks to it so feel free to let me know what you think.   Enjoy and be fruitful. chris@fruitguys.com

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent The FruitLife articles:

Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
A tribute to the “Lemon Lady” of Redwood City
March 11, 2019
The FruitGuys New Year’s poem
January 8, 2019
Sowing the seeds of entrepreneurship
October 31, 2018
Give the delicious gift of farm-fresh fruit and healthy snacks
October 4, 2018
Summer to fall transition brings new fruit into the rotation
October 2, 2018
Bring some fruitful fun to your workplace on Tuesday, October 2
September 27, 2018
Farmer suicide is a public health threat and could hurt our food supply
August 14, 2018
How to keep your favorite fruit fresh through the summer heat
July 19, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Food:
History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019
Food:
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.