Written and Photography by: Cassidy Williams
Winter is peak citrus season. The optimal temperatures for these zesty fruits occur during the winter months through early springtime in California and Florida, and parts of Texas and Arizona. During this time, citrus is at its peak flavor and juiciness. Plus, during these cold and flu season months, they offer the perfect dose of vitamin C to support immune systems.
Citrus fruits originate from Southeast Asia. During the fifth and fourth centuries BC, the citron fruit began to spread west through Persia, near Jerusalem. It later made its way to the western Mediterranean in the third and second centuries BC. The earliest lemon botanical remains were found in Rome, dating back to the late first century BC, according to Datna Langutt. Other citrus varieties like limes, pummelos, and mandarins slowly made their way to the Mediterranean up through the early 19th centuries. This became known as “The Citrus Route”
Keany offers many different types of citruses throughout the year when available, making it easy-peasy lemon squeezy for you to order. Here’s a brief overview on some of our citrus offerings and their characteristics:
Acidic with seeds; a pale-yellow rind containing aromatic oils
Grown in California, Argentina, Italy, and Mexico
- Pack Sizes Available: Dozen (80251); 115 CT (12035); 140 CT (12040); 165 CT (12045); 200 CT (12050); Sunkist 95 CT (12055); Sunkist 165 CT (12070)
- A small, sweet hybrid lemon with a smooth, thin rind. Its pulp is a pale orange with sweet and floral flavors.
- Grown in California
- Pack Size Available: Case (12026)
- A bright green fruit with sour/tart flavor and hints of sweetness
- Grown in Mexico and Peru
- Pack Sizes Available: Dozen (80287); 48 CT (12205); 54 CT (12210); 175 CT (12215); 200 (12221)
- Similar to a lime, but smaller in size with a thin rind. They are very aromatic, juicy, and generally have a stronger flavor than Persian limes
- Grown in Mexico, Central America, South America
- Pack Sizes Available: 10 LB (12211)*
- A sweet-tart taste with a thick, bitter rind. They’re easily identifiable by the small growth at one end resembling a belly-button. They are popular for snacking since the rind is easy to peel and their typically seedless.
- Grown in California and Florida
- Pack Sizes Available: Dozen (80352); 88 CT (15105); Sunkist 56 CT (15135); Sunkist 72 CT (15140); Sunkist 88 CT (15145); Sunkist 113 CT (15150); Sunkist 138 CT (15115)
- Currently in the Hamlin variety with deliciously juicy and low-acidic flavors; the next seasonal variety will be the pineapple, followed by Valencia
- Grown mostly in Florida, some California
- Pack Sizes Available: 100 CT (15125); 125 CT (15130)
- A subtly sweet orange with infusions of red grapefruit and tart cherries; known for its deep red color and pigmented skin
- Grown in California, South Africa, and Italy
- Pack Sizes Available: 20 LB (15090)
Cara Cara Oranges
- A sweet, slightly tangy, and less acidic version of a Navel orange. Its flesh has a slight pink color
- Grown in California
- Pack Sizes Available: Case (10013)
- A large, round, yellow fruit that has a sharp, slightly bitter taste
- Grown in Florida, Texas, and California
- Pack Sizes Available: 3 CT (80784); 27 CT (07065); 32 CT (07070); 40 CT (07080)
Although they are usually referred to as ‘mandarin oranges’, mandarins are actually a completely different citrus fruit. In fact, they are an ancestor of true oranges, which are a hybrid of the mandarin and another citrus fruit called a pomelo.
Stem-and-Leaf Satsuma Mandarins
- Usually seedless and very sweet and juicy. It still has its stem and leaf attached to protect its smooth rind. Read more about them here!
- Grown in California
- Pack Sizes Available: ½ Bushel (15131)
- Smaller and sweeter than an orange, but larger and tarter than a satsuma mandarin, tangerines; they will often have exterior scarring, but the inside pulp is super juicy and full of vitamin C
- Grown in Florida and California
- Pack Sizes Available: 120 CT (19010)
- A hybrid between the willow leaf mandarin and an orange, the clementine is extra small and extra sweet, with easy-peel skin and no seeds. These “cuties” are particularly good for snacking.
- Grown in Morocco
- Pack Sizes Available: 10-3 LB Bags (03180); 5 LB Gift-Pack (03183)
- A hybrid of a tangerine and pomelo with red-orange skin and honey-sweet flavor that’s super juicy
- Varieties: Honeybell, Orlando, Minneola
- Grown in: Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas
- Pack Sizes Available: 64 CT (19003)*
- A bright orange-yellow fruit, about 1 inch in diameter. The entire fruit is edible with its sweet skin and mildly acidic, juicy pulp
- Grown in: California and Florida
- Pack Sizes Available: Case (11020)*
- It is one of the oldest citrus fruits, sometimes described as a “lemon with fingers”. This strangely-shaped citrus is beloved for its sweet floral fragrance and mild zest.
- Grown in: China
- Pack Sizes Available: 4-8 CT (10017)*
*ask about availability when ordering