Citrus is one of my favorite scents. It is so fresh and clean, and my tastebuds begin to swoon as soon as I cut into it in any form. Meatless Monday is a perfect vehicle for the inspiration I’m feeling from oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes everywhere I look.
Since I am spending a week in the Sunshine State, here are some fun facts about Florida citrus:
It is believed that citrus was brought to the state when Ponce DeLeon began exploring the area in 1513. Oranges were often carried on ships because the vitamin C helped them avoid the ravages of scurvy. Oranges are thought to be originally from China.
Florida oranges are heavier than oranges grown elsewhere. This is because the skins are thinner, allowing the pulp to become juicier and accounting for the extra weight.
Almost 90% of all oranges grown in Florida are made into juice because of their high juice content.
Temple Oranges and Murcott Tangerines have so much sugar in them that they will sink if dropped in water. All other oranges will float
Florida citrus is a delicious source of potassium, calcium, folate, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorous, magnesium and copper.
Florida citrus are fat-free and sodium-free. A medium-sized orange averages only about 70 calories, and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful “antioxidant.”
Oranges will stay fresh for about 3 weeks to 1 month. If an orange goes from a grove to a warehouse and stays there for a few days to weeks before making it to the shelf, it will steadily degrade in quality.
Never store citrus fruit in plastic bags or film wrapped trays. When citrus fruit is stored airtight, moisture will form between the peel and the plastic, which will lead to mold growth.
Seedless oranges are oranges with 5 or less seeds in them.
Citrus trees are not grown from seeds, they are grown from cuttings of mature trees.
Oranges have more fiber than most other fruits/vegetables. And perhaps one of the most unusual facts about Florida oranges:
Fruit that grows on the south side of the tree is always sweeter than the north. No one is sure why this happens.
I’ve never tried to cure my own salmon before, and this recipe for Citrus cured salmon from Georgia Pellegrini at Tasty Kitchen has convinced me to give it a try.