Guide to Citrus Fruits

Just in time for healthy eating and light cooking, winter citrus season is here! From tart and sour to super sweet, citrus fruits are great out of hand, in salads and desserts, or for cooking and baking. They add a sophisticated flavor to seafood and fowl dishes, and jazz up vegetable and fruit salads. Did you know that citrus can actually pull out hidden flavors in meats and sauces, creating interesting and refined flavors?

At The Fresh Market, we are pleased to offer a wide range of citrus fruits. Click on any of the varieties below for more information.

Buddha Hands

Overview: The most uniquely shaped of all citrus fruits, Buddha hands are a distinct and tangy citrus. Unlike most citrus fruits, this variety contains no pulp. Instead, the fruit is “all-rind” and is used as a substitute for lemon zest. Buddha hands are popular in China and Japan, where they are used for their strong aromatic properties.

Uses: Use in any recipe that calls for lemon zest. Buddha hands work well to fragrance a room or when used as ornamentation. Choose fruits that have a sweet, clean fragrance and keep at a cool room temperature for two weeks or refrigerated for up to four weeks.

Grapefruits – Texas Rio Star

Overview: This fruit packs a delicious sweet-tart flavor with its intense red flesh. Keep this general rule of thumb in mind when choosing your grapefruit: the redder the flesh, the sweeter the fruit.

Nutritional: An excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber, one half grapefruit contains a mere 60 calories. Studies also indicate that grapefruit and grapefruit juice can aid in the absorption of iron. Drinking a glass before a spinach salad allows your body to absorb two to four times as much iron.

Uses: Pairs well with spinach, shrimp, chicken and tuna salads, and is perfect when paired with avocados and mixed greens. For an extra juicy fruit, gently roll on the counter before cutting.

Grapefruits – Pummelo

Overview: The largest citrus fruit, pummelos flavor varies from fruit to fruit. These Malaysian natives may range from juicy to dry and sweet to tart and tangy. Uniquely shaped (slightly round to pear-shaped), these fruits are best used promptly after purchase for optimum quality and flavor. Choose fruit that is heavy for its size, blemish-free and sweetly fragrant.

Nutritional: Pummelos are high in Vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium and carbohydrates.

Uses: Remove the heavy pit and membrane before using. Great in salads, fruit cups, or paired with cottage cheese or raw veggies.


Overview: These petite and sweet-skinned citrus fruits contain a sour pulp and small edible seeds. A native of China, these fruits have grown in popularity in the U.S. An entire kumquat can be sliced and eaten – skin and all! Kumquats taste like oranges with a hint of tangerine. Choose fruits that are firm and without blemishes.

Nutritional: Kumquats are low in calories and sodium and contain only 12 calories each. Eating the entire fruit (skin and all) is an excellent source of fiber.

Uses: Kumquats can be eaten of hand, baked like apples or added to fruit salads. They make an attractive garnish for cocktails and desserts.


Overview: Bright yellow, tart and tangy, lemons are an undeniably versatile fruit.

Nutritional: A healthful alternative to salt or fat, lemons can spice up any dish. Squeeze a wedge on fresh salads, steamed vegetables, soups or stews, and you’ll never miss the sodium or the fat!

Uses: Lemon slices can perk up most any food or drink. Add one sliced lemon to a pitcher of water and store in the refrigerator for a refreshing beverage. A bowl of fresh lemons will add fragrance to any room for days. When cooking with lemons, roll the fruit on the counter before squeezing to maximize the amount of juice.

Lemons – Meyer

Overview: A twist on the ordinary lemon, this variety is rounder, juicier and sweeter. With a multitude of culinary purposes, ranging from main dishes and appetizers to desserts and drinks, this lemon is prized for its extra rich flavor and dark yellow juice.

Nutritional: Meyer lemons are a cholesterol-free food and are a good source of Vitamin C.

Uses: Perfect for creating decadent desserts, this lemon’s rich flavor enhances ice cream, sorbet, pies, tarts, puddings and custards. With a sophisticated flavor profile, it makes an impressive garnish for vegetables, soups, salads or with seafood and fowl entrees. Store refrigerated and use within two to three days of purchase.


Overview: Sour and tart, limes pack a mouth-puckering flavor.

Nutritional: Contains some Vitamin C, though less than other citrus fruits.

Uses: Perfect for tropical beverages and cocktails, limes are also a versatile cooking ingredient. The tart flavors and sour fragrance enhances the natural flavor of many vegetables. Use within two weeks of purchase. Ten limes yield one cup of juice.

Limes – Key Lime

Overview: With a refreshing sweet-tart flavor, key limes are often the baking and cooking lime of choice. With a leathery skin and abundant juice, this is a versatile citrus fruit.

Nutritional: Key limes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, and each one contains only 37 calories.

Uses: Perfect for sorbet, cakes, fruit punch, cocktails, beverages, and of course, the ever-popular Key Lime pie. Add a sophisticated twist to vegetables or meats by squeezing a key lime over them. This petite fruit goes especially well with seafood and fowl dishes.

Oranges - Blood

Overview: With a personality all its own, blood oranges are growing in popularity in the United States.When sliced, these sour-sweet oranges reveal a deep red flesh. Less acidic and more sweet than sour, blood oranges ablood orangere usually seedless and have a interesting raspberry overtone.

Nutritional: Blood oranges are an excellent source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Uses: Substitute blood oranges when an ordinary orange just won’t do. Good looks and superior flavor make this orange an interesting addition to ice cream, sorbets and fruit salads. Use the colorful slices as a garnish or freeze the juice for festive “orange cubes.” The intense flavor of Blood Oranges is delicious with roasted or grilled meat or poultry. Melt a few tablespoons of orange marmalade in the microwave, stir in one peeled & diced Blood Orange for a quick and sophisticated sauce.

Oranges – Cara Cara Navels

Overview: This navel orange boasts a unique tangerine flavor with a hint of grapefruit. Cara Cara Oranges vary in size from small to large and hcara cara navel orangesave a deep salmon-colored flesh.

Nutritional: Cara Cara Oranges contain lycopene (which gives the pulp its red color). Recent studies illustrate that lycopene has been shown to fight certain diseases. As with other citrus fruits, Cara Cara Oranges are also an excellent source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Uses: This sweet orange makes a great breakfast treat or a colorful garnish for beverages and cocktails. Great in fruit salads or simply out of hand.

Oranges – Navel

Overview: The unsurpassed navel orange ranks as the most popular “dessert” orange. Rich, sweet and seedless, this fruit boasts a deep orange color and a juicy pulp.

Nutritional: High in dietary fiber and Vitamin C, these make a healthy snack for kids of all ages.

Uses: Perfect for fresh squeezed orange juice, though juice should be used immediately because it turns bitter quickly.

Tangelos – Minneola

Overview: A cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine, this distinctive citrus fruit is characterized by a slightly elongated neck on one endMinneola Tangelo and by its rich, tart flavor. Minneolas are a choice tangelo because they are easy to peel and have a high juice content.

Nutritional: Tangelos are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber.

Uses: Great out of hand or in fruit and vegetable salads. Perk up tuna salad or coleslaw with this attractive fruit.

Tangerines – Clementine

Overview: A tiny tangerine, Clementines are deliciously sweet and juicy and are virtually seedless.

Nutritional: Clementines are an excellent source of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Each fruit contains less than 40 calories.

Uses: Enjoy these tiny treats freshly peeled and own their own. Clementines are an excellent dessert fruit and make a great addition to salads and desserts.

Tangerines – Honey

Overview: A firmer and juicier tangerine, honey tangerines are a super-sweet variety with no shortage of seeds. These tangerines, which are grown in Florida, are allowed to ripen on the tree longer. This extended growing period gives the tangerines their distinctive sugary taste. Although these fruits are sometimes difficult to peel, chefs prefer this tangerine for its robust flavor and dark orange color.

Nutritional: Unlike traditional oranges, honey tangerines contain much more Vitamin A. Plus, each fruit contains only 40 calories.

Uses: Makes a great addition to poultry stuffing and pairs well with fowl and seafood dishes. Use as a substitute for orange or lemon juice or garnish cocktails and drinks. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or use within one to two days at room temperature.

Tangerines - Satsuma

Overview: Easy to peel with a deep red flesh, Satsuma Tangerines have a sweet pulp and a slightly tart flavor. Satsumas are almost always seedless and are less acidic than other mandarins.

Nutritional: Satsumas are high in Vitamin C. In fact, two fruits provide the RDA of Vitamin C. They also contain more Vitamin A than oranges and are a good source of dietary fiber.

Uses: These easy-to-peel and divide tangerines are the ideal snacking fruit. Satsumas pair well with cinnamon, orange liqueurs, mint, sherry vinegar, almonds and chocolate.

Tangerines – Sunburst

Overview: These easy-to-peel citrus fruits make a perfect snack. Sunburst tangerines are naturally sweet and rich in flavor.

Nutritional: Like most citrus fruits, sunburst tangerines are high in Vitamin C. Tangerines also contain more Vitamin A than oranges and are a good source of dietary fiber.

Uses: Excellent peeled, try these in fruit and vegetable salads. Or spice up your stir-fry with these sweet fruits.


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