What are Citrus Fruits | List of Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are fruits of trees of the plant genus ‘Citrus’. Citrus is more than 2,000 years old and because of its age, there are many types of citrus fruits for sale. Most citrus fruits that we have in the Netherlands are crosses of the original species.
What are Citrus Fruits? Citrus fruits are fruits of trees of the plant genus ‘Citrus’. All citrus fruits come from 3 primal species:
- The Mandarin
- The Grapefruit
- The citron.
All other species are crosses. The best known in the Netherlands are:
In order to gain a good understanding of what citrus fruits are, it is important to first identify where they originally come from and how the crossed varieties originated. This article is about what citrus fruits are, which varieties are sold in the Netherlands and much more about citrus fruits.
What Are Citrus Fruits?
As mentioned, the citrus fruit is a real primal fruit and all varieties come from the 3 primal fruits, namely the Grapefruit, the Mandarin and the Sukade lemon. All other species are crosses of this primal species and again crosses with each other. The orange, for example, is not a primal fruit but a hybrid. And the orange has been used to grow other citrus fruits.
Citrus Fruit List
The most well-known types of citrus fruits are discussed below. We start this overview with the primal types of citrus fruits.
The varieties are again available in many varieties/variants in the supermarket. The orange, for example, has Valencia, Navel, and Blood Orange as variants.
The mandarin has the varieties Satsuma, Clementine, Tangor, Nadorcott.
These varieties are not discussed further. This article only covers the main format. Starting with the primal species.
1. The Mandarin
The mandarin is believed to be native to China. High-ranking persons used to be called Mandarin and they wore an orange cape.
It is an orange fruit with a slightly sweeter taste than the orange. The Mandarin is also smaller than the orange.
The skin of the mandarin can be removed by hand and this makes it a popular snack fruit. Often several Mandarins are consumed at the same time. The Mandarin is full of vitamins and minerals and is therefore a responsible snack. Mandarins are also often added to a salad.
Our mandarins now often come from Spain, Mexico or Morocco.
2. The Grapefruit
This is the largest citrus fruit and a true primal fruit. The Grapefruit is produced in Southeast Asia and the Grapefruit can grow as big as a football. The taste is bitter, this is due to the naturally present quinine. The Grapefruit tastes slightly more sour than a grapefruit. The color of the flesh is light pink.
The peel of the Grapefruit is quite smooth and not dried out. A dried out skin indicates that the Grapefruit does not contain much juice.
De Pompelmoes is becoming less and less cultivated and is therefore (almost) not for sale in the Netherlands.
The grapefruit is often confused with the Pomelo, however, this is a completely different citrus fruit. The Pomelo is described below.
3. The citron
This fruit is a fairly large lemon with a very bumpy skin. The Sukade lemon can grow up to 20 centimeters and weigh 4 kilograms. Another name for the Sukadecitroen is the Cedraat.
The fruit has a very thick and irregular skin and relatively little flesh. The flesh is light green in color and the taste can be both sweet and sour.
4. The Orange
Originally, the Orange also comes from China, later they were also grown in India. The orange can have a sour or sweet taste and must be peeled with a knife. The skin is quite firm and originally green in colour. Low temperatures make the skin orange. Types of Oranges are the Navel Orange, the Blood Orange and the Common Blonde Orange.
A distinction that is made here is between hand oranges and juice oranges.
Press oranges have more flesh and it is more fleshy. This makes them less suitable for eating by hand. However, hand oranges are also just suitable for juicing. However, juicing oranges are more difficult to eat by hand.
If you want to use the peel of the Orange, it must always be washed, because the Orange has always been sprayed with chemicals.
5. The Lemon
Our home garden and kitchen Lemon is yellow in color and has an oval shape. The flesh is juicy and sour in taste. Lemons are used in the Netherlands to give flavor to dishes, usually only the juice of the lemon is used.
The lemon is also often used as a substitute for vinegar and the lemon is super healthy. The lemon juice is also sprinkled over fresh products such as an apple or avocado to prevent discoloration.
The zest of the lemon is also often used in dishes, usually the zest is grated. If you want to use the peel, clean the Lemon well with hand soap. There are chemicals sprayed on it that you can easily remove with washing.
Our Lemons come from Italy or Spain.
6. The Lime
This is the little green sister of the Citroen. Limes can be round and oval in shape. They are 7 to 14 centimeters in size and have a rough skin. The flesh is yellow/greenish and the taste is bitter sour. The Lime generally contains a lot of juice.
The lime is produced in Spain, Italy, Portugal and California, among others.
This fruit is very often used for making potions. It is also nice to put a few slices of lime in a pitcher with cold water in the summer. This is a real thirst quencher.
7. The Grapefruit
Much is known about this fruit. It was created by crossing an Orange and Grapefruit. The Grapefruit originates from Jamaica.
The peel of the Grapefruit is yellow/orange and the Grapefruit is larger than an orange. The flesh can be yellow or red in color. The yellower the color the more bitter, the redder the color the sweeter.
The peel of the grapefruit is tough and difficult to remove. The peel also contains aromatic oils that give off a strong scent.
Grapefruit is often used in salads or cocktails.
8. The Minneola
Minneola is a cross of the fruit Grapefruit and Tangarine (Tangarine belongs to the tangerines). It was developed in 1931 in a lab in the Florida city of Minneola. The Minneola can be recognized by the thickening, the nose.
The Minneola has a lot of juice, which tastes sweeter than the juice of an orange. The skin of the fruit is easy to remove and this makes the Minneola easy to eat by hand.
You can eat a Minneola as a snack, with a salad and it can be made into juice.
Minneola’s well-known brands are Jaffa and Carmel.
9. The Pomelo
The Pomelo is a cross between a Grapefruit and the Grapefruit and was developed in 1970 in Israel.
It is a relatively large fruit of 10 to 20 centimeters in size and has a smooth thick skin. The Pomelo is sold in the Netherlands but is not really known. The specialty store usually has these fruits. Our Pomelos come from China, Vietnam, Israel, South Africa and Thailand.
Pomelo is eaten fresh. The pulp can be eaten as is, but also tastes delicious in salads, desserts, smoothies and juices.
Where Do Citrus Fruits Come From?
Citrus fruits are native to Australia and Southeast Asia. Today they are grown in countries with a subtropical climate, such as Spain, Brazil, China, Mexico, India and the southern United States such as the state of Florida.
Because of the many countries that produce citrus fruits, citrus fruits can be found in the supermarket all year round.
Different Size citrus fruits
Above are pictures of citrus fruits. However, the size of the citrus fruit is not in perspective. The photo below shows the difference in size of the various fruits. Not all the fruits above are in the picture, do you know which fruits they are?
How to Store Citrus Fruits?
Citrus fruits are produced in a subtropical climate and they do not like cold. Citrus fruits should therefore not be kept in the refrigerator. Keep citrus fruits in the kitchen, preferably at a temperature of 12 degrees.
In a Dutch house it is often 12 degrees nowhere so just keep the citrus fruits in the kitchen, as cool as possible but never in the fridge.
If a citrus fruit has been peeled and opened, you can store the citrus fruit for another 2 days in the refrigerator. Put this in the vegetable drawer or in a closed container.
Citrus fruits can also be frozen in the freezer. Just make sure you freeze individual pieces and not whole citrus. You can store citrus fruit pieces in the freezer for 12 months.
Citrus fruits Drying
Citrus fruits can also be dried for storage.
Clean the fruits as explained in the video. Preheat the oven to 55 degrees. Remove the rack from the oven and place a sheet of baking paper on it.
Then place the pulp on the baking paper. Make sure that they do not touch each other and that you only have a layer of pulp.
Now slide the rack into the oven and wait, wait a long time. Turn up the pieces regularly and wait, wait a long time. Occasionally take a piece out of the oven to taste if they are already dry. It may take a few hours for them to dry properly.
Then remove the pieces from the oven and let cool. Now store the dried citrus pieces in a sealed jar, or start snacking!