Winter Citrus: Culinary Techniques for Seasonal Eatingby Michael Wards
I think people are often surprised to discover citrus fruits are seasonal in winter. They’re refreshing and juicy, which is usually indicative of summer fruit—while winter is associated with dry, dense veggies. Thankfully, these bright gems come at a time when we need a little sunshine to brighten a dark winter day. Plus, they’re full of vitamin C to help boost the immune system during the cold and flu months. Mother Nature really knows what she’s doing!
As for us chefs, we like to take the bounty she offers and use it in new and innovative ways. Sure, you can just eat an orange or squeeze lemon onto fish, but when it comes to citrus, the applications are endless. So why not get creative?
Let’s start with a little lesson…
Citrus 101: Unusual Fruits and Techniques
There are a host of citrus fruits, from lemons to grapefruits to oranges. Within these broad categories, there is a greater array of varieties. Recently we’ve been experimenting with 3 lesser-known fruits in new ways to prolong their shelf life and add flavor to meals.
- Meyer Lemons: Take advantage of these while you can! Said to be a cross between a lemon and mandarin orange, they tend to be sweeter (and slightly larger) than a regular lemon. We persevere them to add zest to main meals and side dishes, like couscous, braised lamb and roasted chicken. The bonus? We can now enjoy them all year round!
- Kumquats: Distinguished by their unique oval shape, these fruits are both sweet and tart. Not to mention, they can be eaten whole! You can use them to make marmalades and chutneys, but we decided to pickle them. Once pickled, they can be added to salads, seafood dishes and grilled meats.
- Calamondin: A somewhat rare citrus fruit, calamondin can be quite sour. For this reason, they’re primarily used in cooking, as one would use a lemon or lime. Our Artisans take it a step further and prepare calamondin vinegar. It offers a fun, fresh flavor that can enliven an ordinary dish and intrigue your epicuriosity.
Learn the tricks of the trade:
Want to prepare chef-quality meals at home? We believe in elevating the everyday by applying new techniques to common ingredients. If you’re interested in taking your skills to the next level, try one of our Austin Artisan Cooking Classes. We can teach you culinary applications, like pickling, preserving and vinegar making, in addition to basic skills and cuisines from around the globe.
We offer 3 exciting and personalized formats for your culinary adventures:
- Cooking classes
- Cooking demonstrations
- Cooking challenges
Contact us for more information or to book a class.