Citrus doesn’t grow in Virginia at all and it’s one of the crops that will never be in season here. Because so many of you love citrus, we want you to have access to it, while still sourcing from as close to our food hub as possible.
Some of the staple fruits we offer during the winter season are citrus like Valencia Oranges or Satsumas from Georgia and Florida, so let’s learn a little more about them.
What we know as oranges were first cultivated in Southern China as early as 400 B.C. Since then they’ve been hybridized repeatedly, creating hundreds of varieties. The most popular juicing Orange by far is the Valencia, developed in California this past century. Limonin, the chemical that gives tart fruits their bitterness, is concentrated in Valencia Oranges’ seeds rather than their fruit, making the resulting juice much sweeter! Another recent addition to our stable of citrus is the Satsuma, originating in the Satsuma province of Japan, known for their bumpy, raised skin that’s extra easy to peel. This week’s Shiranui are a close cousin of the Satsuma, so expect similarities!
Something to keep in mind when it comes to looking at an Orange, especially a juicing orange like a Valencia, is that the state of the exterior matters very little to the state of the flesh inside. Unlike apples or peaches, the skin of an Orange is built to withstand punishment, so pockmarks or dents are expected and mean that it’s done its job protecting the interior. Also, a green orange doesn’t mean that it is too unripe to juice, but you can always leave them on the counter or a window sill for a couple days if you’d like them to further ripen!
Different Ways to Use Your Juicing Oranges!
- Fresh Orange Juice:
- Simply juice the oranges and enjoy a refreshing glass of pure orange juice.
- Citrus Salad Dressing:
- Use orange juice as a base for a homemade citrus salad dressing! Mix it with olive oil, honey, Dijon mustard, and seasonings.
- Use orange juice as a natural marinade for meats. The acidity adds flavor, and it can help tenderize the meat.
- Cocktails and Mocktails:
- Incorporate orange juice into your favorite cocktails or mocktails. It pairs well with various spirits and non-alcoholic mixers.
- Sauces and Glazes:
- Create a sweet and tangy glaze for meats or vegetables by combining orange juice with ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.
- Use orange juice in baking recipes for cakes, muffins, or glazes. It adds a burst of citrus flavor!
About Seasonal Roots
Since 2011, Seasonal Roots’ online farmers market has connected Virginia families with local family farmers who use sustainable, humane practices. Our neighborhood market managers – who believe in living better through scrumptious, healthy eating, being kind to animals, protecting the environment, and spreading joy – home-deliver freshly harvested produce, pastured eggs, grass fed dairy and meat, plus artisan fare. We empower our members to eat better and live better with more nutritious, flavorful food that’s good for us and good for the planet. More info at seasonalroots.com.