Staff Picks: Our Favorite Citrus
Who needs the Orange Bowl when you can go to the Citrus Bowl and have oranges AND all their citrus brethren in one game of crossover SEC-Big Ten smashmouth football?
Just look at the Citrus Bowl logo. You can very clearly see both yellow and orange citrus represented, but you’d be remiss to assume that lemons and oranges were the only fruits hanging on the tree. There are bound to be some tangelos and even a nice Meyer lemon represented on that bad boy.
Citrus are among the most versatile and tasty fruits, and we’re delighted to be able to enjoy all citrus this bowl season. Although we’re more than appreciative of the abundance of tang, our staff couldn’t agree on which one claims the title as the best juicy, acidic fruit with rinds. A few of our most impassioned citrus connoisseurs made their cases as to which is the superior variation.
Derek Bannister: Grapefruits
Ah, grapefruit. I’m not sure who came up with the name grapefruit, considerings grapes are already a fruit, but it does seem like some sort of power move. Beyond its powerful name, the grapefruit is a healthy option for just about anyone. The typical grapefruit contains only 52 calories and is a great source of antioxidants. Buh-bye cell damage — all these antioxidants will keep you so healthy that you’ll forget why you ever even liked lemons or limes. Oh, and speaking of lemons and limes, what is the point of a fruit if you can’t even eat it? Unlike inferior citrus, grapefruit won’t dissolve your teeth on contact. Tell your dentist “You’re welcome” and get yourself the ultimate citrus.
Anthony Colucci: Clementines
All citrus is more or less the same. For the most part, if you’ve tried one, you might as well have tried them all, give or take some variation in levels of tartness. But of all the honored citrus, there’s but what stands the test: the clementine.
What differentiates the clementine is that it’s one of the easiest to peel, so you can truly eat it anywhere even if you don’t have access to a knife. And when you dig your fingers into its juicy, orange flesh, the cuts on them won’t burn in agony, because the clementine is a rare sweet citrus. Accordingly, the marketing possibilities are endless for this “baby orange.” Brands of clementines have names such as Cuties, Darling, Halos, and Clem Gems. And yes, each brand’s logo includes an amorphous clementine with an adorably drawn face.
Elissa Hill: Limes
Have you ever cracked open a cold Corona? You don’t reach for an orange slice or a wedge of lemon — you reach for the king of all citrus: the lime. When you’re mixing up a Moscow Mule, what do you reach for? The lime. What hits the spot when you squeeze it onto a fresh taco from Yallah at 2:07 a.m. after leaving the Gaff? The lime. Lemonade? Pish posh. Try Limeade. When you need a cool and refreshing summer dessert? Key lime pie. When you accidentally drive to Maryland instead of New Jersey on your way to a concert? Reach for a Lime-a-Rita after you drive the three and a half hours back home. Don’t let anybody tell you the lime is inferior to the lemon — they’re simply wrong.
Matt DiSanto: Kumquats
The humble kumquat is certainly the best citrus fruit. Though they appear to be tiny ovular oranges, kumquats differ in a lot of ways from their citrus relatives. Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquats don’t need to be peeled before eating. Like other citrus fruits, kumquats can help you lose weight and lower blood pressure while providing a boost of vitamin C. Although not as accessible as oranges or lemons, kumquats are extremely versatile. They can be used in baking, added to salads, or just enjoyed as a tasty snack.
Jim Davidson: Orangelos
These tangy treats are a hybrid between a grapefruit and an orange. They sound like a cross between Orlando Bloom and Angelo’s, simultaneously qualifying them as a serious Oscar contender and the delicious namesake of every local pizza joint in America. If Penn State wins the Citrus Bowl, I’ll consider naming my first-born son Orangelo to celebrate. It just sounds right.
Matt Paolizzi: Lemons
Unlike other citrus posers, lemons bring the greatest amount of possibility. Like a first overall pick in a sports draft, selecting a lemon gives you the chance to revitalize your boring, lemon-less life and turn you into a true champion of household ingenuity. Here’s a list of just some of the endless ways to utilize that lemon that’s been sitting in your disgusting dorm/apartment fridge for a few months.
Lemonade. Duh. Make some marmalade or fresh lemon curd for the perfect spread for your morning toast. Find yourself a recipe for limoncello if you’re ready for the best night of your life followed by the worst hangover of your life. Lemon and chicken are two ingredients that go together perfectly. Take that ugly chicken breast that’s been giving you the stink eyes from your freezer, put it in a plastic bag to marinate with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, (some rosemary too if you’re feeling frisky), and tell me that’s not just the best damn chicken you’ve ever had. You can treat acne by dabbing lemon juice on nasty whiteheads. Popsicles! Got an embarrassing underarm stain on your favorite shirt? Blender looking a little shoddy? Furniture need a little polish? All can be taken care of with some salt, lemon juice, and water. Lemon cake, lemon tarts, and lemon meringue pie are easy recipes anyone with an oven can make. Any household odor can be treated with some lemon rinds or juice.
It also makes a perfect, all-natural bug spray.
Sure, grapefruits make a good breakfast. Sure, key lime pie is the most delicious dessert there is. But no citrus can match the versatility and potential a single lemon holds. A lemon is like the Oregon Trail without the dysentery, full of hope and the promise of starting over. Lemons are the Willie Mays of citrus fruits: a real five-tool player. All hail the king of the citrus family.
What’s your favorite citrus? Let us know in the comments below!
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