Yes! Oh my god, yes – the citrus are back!! In the first week of April – well into the Austral autumn – we received some mandarins and lemonade fruit in our food box. It was amazing. In the second week of April, we received some mandarins and lemonade fruit AND navel oranges. Yes!!
These fruit are SO flavourful. And we still have the blood oranges, grapefruit and pomelo to come, plus the mighty lemon. Preserving some lemons is a top priority when they’re in season this year; more – hopefully – on that before too long.
The mandarins are juicy and sweet, though as the season progresses – I learned recently from Food Connect – the skins will continue to loosen and become even more juicy.
Lemonade Fruit were foreign to me before visiting the Northey St organic markets a few years ago. Evidently they have a brief season, but in a way that justifies going lemonade-fruit-crazy while they’re here. The name is pretty apt. There’s the flavour of lemon without the sourness. They’re a cross between lemons and oranges. Get some! You will have all of zero regrets.
The oranges carry quite a yellowish tinge and are super sweet and juicy and lovely. Eating a slice from one of these oranges after some of the lemonade fruit makes the orange taste like the sweetest fruit in the world.
Then of course the limes. The citrus stalwart of summer (we’ve had the limes coming steadily for quite a while, but I didn’t want to exclude them from the April-citrus-love). These limes are super flavourful and are loaded with juice. Perfect for squeezing over roast veges, across sliced apple, into chilly water, adding to sweet and kind-of-virtuous ice-blocks…
Being visited by citrus as the days shorten and become cooler (even if only slightly) is such an amazing thing, and a real treat to come of seasonal eating. The first week of citrus season now has an infinitely repeating occurrence in my calendar, and if long term plans ever work out, then the first week of April in 2015 is going to be marked by a citrus party to celebrate the opening of this most lovely of seasons.
If any of these beauties survive being eaten straight out of the fruit bowl, then we will be enjoying citrus cakes, slices, and muffins well into autumn.