Citrus fruits add a burst of color and flavor to a variety of dishes, transporting our taste buds to the tropics during the cool, drab winter months. They peak between late October through March and come in many varieties that range in size, color, texture and flavor. From common varieties like Meyer lemons, oranges and grapefruits, to the less common long-fingered Buddha’s hands, kaffir limes and pomelos.

Use the juice of Meyer lemons to add a jolt of freshness to salad dressings, pies and tarts, or grate the rind to kick up the flavor of scones, risottos, pastas and breads. Add a welcome sweetness to baked French toast and chicken wings with navel and Valencia oranges, or simply peel for an easy snack. Grab a handful of kumquats, a tiny citrus fruit about the size of large olives, and enjoy whole—skin and all—sliced on top of salads, candied for a sweet treat or muddled into a refreshing cocktail. Whatever citrus fruits you prefer, one thing is certain: They’re guaranteed to brighten your day!

Select fruits that feel firm and are heavy for their size. Avoid any with bruises or soft spots. If zesting or candying the rind, choose pristine, blemish-free fruits.

Citrus fruits will keep at room temperature for a few days, which is the preferred storing method if juicing. Refrigerating fruit loose or in a breathable produce bag within the crisper drawer will extend their shelf life for a week or more. Both the juice and zest freeze well when sealed in storage bags.

Thoroughly rinse and scrub the rind before peeling, cutting or zesting to remove any wax or pesticide residue. Remove the bitter-tasting pith (the white material between the rind and fruit) and separate it into segments before enjoying.


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