Just mention oranges or grapefruits and people think of summer. Maybe it’s those juice commercials: all that bright sun, those people in T-shirts. Or maybe it’s hangover memories of Anita Bryant singing on the docks about orange juice. Whatever the reasons, people think warm weather when they think citrus.
That’s too bad, since citrus is a winter crop, harvested across the lower belt of the United States while the rest of the country shivers in its blue-norther nightmares. Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines: they’re the sour spark in our otherwise blustery lives, a good spike of vitamins and anti-oxidants when we need them most. Vitamin C may or may not cure the common cold, but it sure perks up the day.
In winter, we’re caught red-handed with eggnog and banana nut bread, squash purée and ground beef casserole—that is, with food for hunkering down. Thank goodness for that citrus spark: it cuts through the heavier tastes and lightens our palates.