UPDATE: Thanks to everyone that entered! Congratulations to our winners: Richard S., Brett H., Brenda S., Toni F., Eunice L., The Dickersons, Brian H., Julie B., Isabel M., and Sarah M.
It may be the most wonderfully delicious time of the year – that’s how the song goes, right? – but it’s also becoming the coldest and darkest time of the year too.
That’s why I’m grateful for seasonal citrus. Despite common beliefs, winter is the time for citrus. From tangy Satsumas to tart limes to juicy Tangelos, peak of the season citrus adds flavor bursts to salads, cocktails, baked goods, sauces, vinaigrettes and more. You could say it not only brightens your dishes but your days. Thank you, Mother Nature!
This season we’ve got a battle of epic flavor featuring two of our favorite citrus superstars – Satsuma v Clementine – and we need your help to pick the season’s champion.
In this corner: Clementine “Main Squeeze”
Clementines are the most well-known mandarin, and for good reason. They are seedless, easy to peel and perfect for both kids and adults.
Flavor: Simple and delightfully sweet with a less acidic finish
Character: Flatter shape, tight leathery rind
Origins: California, Spain and Morocco
Uses: These are perfect for eating out of hand. The mild sweetness pairs well with other simple flavors. Use juice instead of water in baking for extra citrus flavor. Add chopped sections or zest to salads, cookies and granola. They are great for giving as gifts too!
In this corner: Satsuma “The Puma”
Think of Satsuma as clementine’s lively cousin; they’re seedless and easy to peel but bolder in flavor. Gaining quickly in popularity, their peak season is just six to eight weeks, so get ‘em while you can…then enjoy soon after purchase because they’re best when eaten right away!
Flavor: Intense, tangy and sweet with a bright and lively finish
Character: Thinner, loose rind, distinct “top knot”
Origins: California and Florida
Uses: The bold taste is perfect for adding extra zip to recipes. The peel is delicate and packed with flavor — to zest, peel with a vegetable peeler first, then chop finely. Add sections, juice or zest to desserts, mixed drinks and salads. They’re delicious eaten out of hand too.
Take some home and do a taste test with friends and family. Enjoy them straight out of the peel try them in these recipes that put citrus in the limelight.
MAKE THE MOST OF SEASONAL CITRUS
Besides cooking with citrus, here are a few more of my favorite ways to use every last bit of these winter gems.
- Zest it. Add zing to baked goods, stir-fries or stews.
- Juice it. What could be better than a fresh glass of juice in the morning?
- Dry it. Bake peels on the lowest possible heat until dry but still pliable. Use to flavor black tea, roasted chicken or braised meats.
- Freeze it. Freeze citrus juice or zest until you’re ready to use it.
- Candy it. Garnish desserts and cocktails with candied peels or enjoy them as a sweet snack.
Don’t limit citrus to the kitchen either. Citrus can successfully be incorporated into your holidays in many ways - think table arrangements, homemade ornaments, and gifts like a basket of whole citrus or jar of citrus salt.
Do you clamor for clementines or are you sweet on Satsumas? Tell us which one is your citrus champion and why in the comments below. Enter your comment by Wednesday, December 12 and we’ll pick ten winners at random to receive a case of their citrus champion of choice – clementines or Satsumas
The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends December 12, 2012, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.