Ingredients and Uses
Stylecraze

24 Delicious Citrus Fruits You Should Definitely Give A Try

by
24 Delicious Citrus Fruits You Should Definitely Give A Try September 27, 2017

They’re zesty, they’re tangy, they’re oh-so-delicious. If the mango is regarded as the “king” of fruits, then citrus fruits sure do form the royal court. The perfect combination of sweet and sour flavors provided by citrus fruits make them some of the most favored and sought-after fruits around the world. After all, who hasn’t experienced the joy of sucking on a cold orange popsicle on a hot summer afternoon?

Table Of Contents

There are only three original species of citrus fruits – mandarin orange, pummelo, and citron. All the other citrus fruits we see in stores and at farmers’ markets today are actually products of crossing these original species. Yes, this includes the common sweet oranges, lemons, and limes! Mindblowing, isn’t it?

There are many more amazing things about citrus fruits that you are not yet aware of, and they will completely blow your mind. But before we delve into that, let’s look at all the types of citrus fruits that you can get your hands on.

List Of Citrus Fruits

Here are some popular varieties of citrus fruits:

  • Sweet oranges: Blood orange, kumquat, navel, cara cara
  • Mandarins: Clementine, tangerine, tangelo, calamondin
  • Limes: Key lime, Persian, kaffir
  • Grapefruit: White, ruby red, oroblanco
  • Lemons: Meyer, eureka
  • Other kinds: Citron, yuzu, ugli, Rangpur, pomelo, Buddha’s hand, kinnow

1. Orange

The beloved orange that is readily available around the world is actually a hybrid between a pomelo and a mandarin. This sweet fruit grows in tropical and subtropical climates and has been around longer than Christianity as it has been mentioned in Chinese literature dating all the way back to 314 BC!

  • Botanical Name: Citrus sinensis
  • Origin: Southern China, Northeastern India, and Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 30-33 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Slightly acidic to neutral soil with good drainage

2. Tangerine

The trusty ol’ tangerine is believed to be a variety of another citrus fruit, the mandarin orange. It is much sweeter than a regular orange and is used in preparing a bunch of drinks, desserts, salads, and other dishes. Tangerine peels are so delicious that they are also eaten coated in chocolate!

  • Botanical Name: Citrus tangerina
  • Origin: Morocco
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 8-10 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Slightly acidic to neutral loamy soil with good drainage

3. Key Lime

iStock

Who hasn’t experienced the slice of heaven that is key lime pie? This delicious fruit is also known as Mexican lime and West Indian lime. Besides the fruit having a sweet flavor, the flowers that bloom with it are also a super pretty off-white with a delicate purple tinge at the edges.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus aurantiifolia
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 16 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun, protected from cold winds
  • Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral broken rocky soil

4. Clementine

I’m sure you must have spent some part of your childhood being taught the ubiquitous song Oh My Darlin’ Clementine. Well, this classic also features one of the most commonly found citrus fruits out there. Clementine is a sweet citrus fruit that is a cross between a mandarin orange and a sweet orange. It has lesser acid than a sweet orange and is often confused with mandarin orange.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus clementina
  • Origin: Algeria
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 25 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

5. Blood Orange

Blood orange has quite the fitting moniker considering its flesh is a very distinctive dark red. This is because it contains unique antioxidants called anthocyanins that are not found in any other citrus fruits. Another feature that sets it apart from its other citrus counterparts is that it has a distinct raspberry flavor to it in combination with the usual citric flavor.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus sinensis
  • Origin: China
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 15 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Slightly acidic, well-drained loamy soil

6. Mandarin Orange

iStock

The mandarin orange is a citrus fruit that closely resembles the more common sweet orange. This sweet citrus fruit holds a special place in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for treating abdominal, digestion, and phlegm related issues. Mandarin oranges are also traditional symbols of abundance and are thus presented and displayed during the Chinese New Year.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus reticulata
  • Origin: China
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 8-10 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained loamy soil

7. Lemon

Who doesn’t know the joy of having a glass of cold lemonade on a hot summer day? Owing to its unique sour taste, lemon is a citrus fruit that is used in preparing food and refreshing drinks all over the world. Additionally, its high citric acid content makes it a strong cleaning agent, and its essential oil is used in aromatherapy for relaxation.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus limon
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 10-20 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Acidic, well-drained, loamy soil

8. Grapefruit

iStock

The grapefruit boasts of a unique flavor profile that ranges from sour to semi-sweet to bitter notes. It’s a cross between two other citrus fruits – sweet orange and pomelo. This citrus fruit gets its name from the way it grows in bunches that resemble grapes. The flesh of this beautiful fruit can come in red, white, or pink hues, depending on its cultivars.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus paradisi
  • Origin: Barbados
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 16-20 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

9. Meyer Lemon

The Meyer lemon is named after the American agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, who first sampled and brought this citrus fruit to the US from China. It’s a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Though first used as an ornamental tree in China, this fruit found its way into cooking, thanks to popular chefs like Alice Waters and Martha Stewart.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus meyeri
  • Origin: China
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 6-10 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Slightly acidic, well-drained, loamy soil

10. Kaffir Lime

Kaffir lime (also known as makrut lime) is a citrus fruit that features quite prominently in Southeast Asian cuisine. In fact, its leaves are used way more than the fruit in preparing Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Indonesian dishes. Kaffir lime juice is also used as a shampoo in this region and is believed to kill head lice.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus hystrix
  • Origin: Tropical Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 6 to 35 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, loamy soil

11. Tangelo

iStock

Tangelo is a citrus fruit that is a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo or grapefruit. It is extremely juicy and has a mildly sweet flavor. This sweet flavor makes it possible for tangelos to be used as a substitute for sweet oranges and mandarin oranges in drinks and dishes.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus tangelo
  • Origin: USA
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 8-12 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil

12. Kumquat

Kumquat (the name just rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it?) is very similar to a sweet orange but is much smaller in size and more resistant to cold weather. This juicy citrus has many more variants like the Morgani (round) kumquat, Nagami (oval) kumquat, Jiangsu kumquat, and the Centennial Variegated kumquat.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus japonica
  • Origin: South Asia and Asia Pacific region
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 8 to 15 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

13. Persian Lime

Persian lime is the most widely cultivated lime species and is a hybrid between a key lime and a lemon. The unique features that make it great for commercial cultivation are that it is seedless, has a longer shelf life, is bigger than the key lime, and its bushes have no thorns. However, it is less acidic and has a less bitter taste than key lime.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus latifolia
  • Origin: Persia (now Iran)
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 15 to 20 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

14. Sweet Lime

Sweet lime is a cultivar of lemon and is immensely popular in South Asia. It has a very mild, sweet flavor and is low in acid content. Sweet lime is most commonly consumed in its juice form and is the most common fruit drink found in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus limetta
  • Origin: South and Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 26 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Slightly acidic, well-drained soil

15. Pomelo

iStock

Pomelo (or pummelo/pamplemousse/jabong/shaddock – this fruit has way too many names!) is one of the three original citrus species from which the rest of the citrus fruits hybridized. The white-fleshed pomelo is sweet while the pink-fleshed one is sour. Pomelos are eaten in Asia during the Mooncake festival.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus maxima
  • Origin: South and Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 25 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, loamy soil

16. Yuzu

Yuzu is a highly aromatic citrus fruit that looks a lot like a small grapefruit. The interesting thing about yuzu is that it is rarely consumed as a fruit. Yuzu juice is used in the preparation of ponzu sauce, yuzu vinegar, yuzu tea, and some alcoholic drinks.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus junos
  • Origin: Central China and Tibet
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 12 to 18 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

17. Ugli Fruit

iStock

This fruit may sound ugli and look ugly, but it sure is one delicious citrus fruit. Ugli fruit is created by crossing a grapefruit, an orange, and a tangerine. This super juicy fruit is sweet like a tangerine, less bitter than a grapefruit, and has a very aromatic rind.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus reticulata × Citrus paradisi
  • Origin: Jamaica
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 6 to 8 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil

18. Citron

And we’re back to one of the original citrus fruit species with citron! This dry, pulpy fruit is used to make jams and pickles in South Asia. Citron serves a variety of medicinal purposes like combatting nausea, hemorrhoids, and skin diseases and ejecting parasitic worms from the body.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus medica
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 8 to 15 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, loamy soil

19. Rangpur

A hybrid between mandarin orange and lemon, rangpur is named so after Rangpur in Bangladesh, where it is found in abundance. Due to their high acid content, rangpurs are used as a substitute for lime while cooking.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus limonia
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 12 to 18 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Slightly acidic, well-drained, loamy soil

20. Finger Lime

iStock

The finger lime, as the name suggests, looks like an elongated lime. Its juicy vesicles are used as garnish in various dishes and are referred to as ‘lime caviar.’ Finger lime has a tangy flavor that makes it perfect for making pickles and marmalade. But that’s not all! Its peel is also dried and used as a spice.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus australasica
  • Origin: Australia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11  
  • Size Of Tree: 20 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

 21. Bitter Orange

As you may be able to tell by the name, bitter orange is a very bitter flavored variety of citrus fruit. It’s a cross between a pomelo and a mandarin orange. The world-renowned British marmalade is made using bitter orange. It is widely used in preparing Turkish cuisine and is also known to act as a dietary supplement as it suppresses your appetite.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus aurantium
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 30 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic, loamy soil

22. Buddha’s Hand

iStock

When it comes to oddly shaped fruits, Buddha’s hand sure does top the list. This unique fruit is divided into finger-like segments. Due to its lack of pulp or juice, only its zest is used in preparing desserts, dishes, and alcoholic drinks.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis
  • Origin: Northeastern India and China
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 10 to 17 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

23. Calamondin

A cross between a mandarin orange and a kumquat, calamondin is a small citrus fruit that is rarely consumed by itself owing to its sour taste. Its juice is used as a seasoning and condiment in Asian cuisines, and the fruit itself can be used to make marmalade.

  • Botanical Name: Citrofortunella microcarpa
  • Origin: South Asia
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-10
  • Size Of Tree: 10 to 20 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, slightly acidic soil

24. Kinnow

Kinnow is a delicious citrus fruit that is a cross between the citrus cultivars of ‘King’ and ‘Willow Leaf.’ Due to its high seed content acting as a hindrance during consumption, a low seed variety of kinnow was developed in 2015 by Pakistani agriculturalist Niaz Ahmad Chaudhry.

  • Botanical Name: Citrus nobilis x Citrus deliciosa
  • Origin: Pakistan and India
  • Preferred Zones: Zones 9-11
  • Size Of Tree: 8 to 12 feet
  • Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil: Well-drained soil

 Now that’s what I call a long list of fruits! But here’s the best part – the wide variety of citrus fruits that you can get your hands on also means that you get an equally wide variety of health benefits. Don’t believe me? Then just keep on reading…

Back To TOC

What Are The Health Benefits Of Citrus Fruits?

  1. They aid weight loss as they have a high water and fiber content, which keeps you full for a long time. This fiber also boosts heart health and prevents cardiovascular disease.
  2. Citrus fruits can help reduce the risk of esophageal, stomach, and ovarian cancers.
  3. They reduce your risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
  4. The vitamin C in citrus fruits helps regenerate collagen that maintains the elasticity of your skin. Hence, these fruits can help delay the signs of aging.
  5. They help reduce the overall duration of the common cold by a day.

But wait a minute! While it sure is great that citrus fruits give you a wealth of nutrients, you need to keep in mind that you can obtain their benefits only if you select the right fruits at the market, store them properly, and eat them before they start rotting. Here’s what you need to do…

Back To TOC

What Are Some Healthy Ways To Eat Citrus Fruits?

When it comes to taste, no fruit can beat the perfect blend of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavor notes of citrus fruits. You can simply peel and eat them out of hand, drink their freshly squeezed juice or incorporate them in a ton of healthy and simple recipes!

  • When I watched The Jungle Book as a kid, I absolutely fell in love with the idea of plucking fruit straight off a tree and devouring it because of how delicious it looked when Mowgli did it. Now you may not have the option of picking your citrus fruits off a tree, but you sure can eat them the way God intended you to. Most citrus fruits also have the added advantage of having a loose peel that can be removed by hand and being naturally divided into bite-sized segments. So you don’t need to mess around with knives or forks! Eating citrus fruits this way also ensures that you don’t miss out any of the fiber and great nutrients that they pack. The best time to eat citrus fruits is right in the morning with a glass of milk. And if you’re diabetic, make sure there’s a gap of a couple of hours between your meals and citrus fruit consumption because otherwise, it could raise your blood sugar level too much.
  • For those of you who prefer drinking juices instead of eating fruits (like me!), freshly squeezed citrus fruit juices are going to be your new best friend. But don’t you dare strain out the pulp before chugging that juice! The pulp of citrus fruits contains fiber that has the all-important pectin that is responsible for getting rid of cholesterol from your body.
  • Add peeled segments of any citrus fruits you like to your salad, a bowl of low-fat yogurt or chia seed pudding to add a dash of sweet and tangy freshness to an otherwise boring meal!

While these are some super simple ways to enjoy citrus fruits, you can also prepare some yummy dishes with them that will make you a hit with your family and friends. Below are just a few dishes that you can try out.

Back To TOC

Recipes

1. Glazed Lemon Coconut Loaf

iStock

What You Need 
For the loaf
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 big eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 sweetened desiccated coconut
  • 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
  • Parchment paper
For the glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • A pinch of lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup sweetened desiccated coconut
 Directions
  1. Line your loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the butter.
  3. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, melted butter, vegetable oil, lemon extract, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and milk. Whisk them together thoroughly.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk.
  5. In another bowl, use a sieve to sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  6. Add half of your flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps.
  7. Now, alternately add some of the flour mixture and some of the egg mixture to the previous mixture, stirring thoroughly between each addition until all your ingredients are combined in one bowl.
  8. Stir in the desiccated coconut into the batter.
  9. Pour your batter into the loaf pan and bake it for around 45 minutes, or until a skewer/butter knife/toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove the loaf from the pan and place it on a cooling rack.
  11. To make the glaze, combine all the glaze ingredients (except for the desiccated coconut) and whisk the mixture until it reaches a thick consistency. You can adjust the consistency by adding more sugar (to thicken) or more lemon juice (to thin).
  12. Use a spoon to pour an even layer of glaze on top of your loaf and sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top of it to garnish it.

2. Citrus Tart

iStock

What You Need
  • 1 1/2 cups Marie biscuits (crushed)
  • 5 tbsp butter (melted)
  • 2 tbsp demerara (brown) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup chilled orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom
What To Do
  1. Mix the crushed biscuits, melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  2. Using a spoon, press this mixture tightly and in an even layer all along the base and sides of the tart pan.
  3. Separate the egg yolks and whites.
  4. Combine the condensed milk, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and egg yolk in a bowl and whisk them until they are completely blended.
  5. Beat your egg whites until they form stiff peaks (you could use an electric whisk to get the job done faster) and gently fold them into the condensed milk mixture using a spatula.
  6. Pour the mixture into the tart tin.
  7. Bake the tart for 20 to 25 minutes or until the filling is completely set.
  8. Let the tart cool down on a wire rack before chilling it in a fridge for about 4 hours.
  9. Remove the tart from the pan.
  10. Whisk the whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  11. Dollop the whipped cream along the edges of the tart or cover the top completely.
  12. You can garnish the tart with orange slices and mint sprigs to make it look pretty.

3. Citrus Mango Salsa

iStock

What You Need
  • 1 blood orange
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 lime
  • 1 ripe mango (peeled and chopped/sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 3 tablespoons red onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • Salt (as desired)
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  2. Peel the blood orange and separate the segments.
  3. Cut between the membranes to release the blood orange segments from it and drop them in a bowl.
  4. Cut these segments into bite-sized chunks.
  5. Repeat the previous 3 steps with the grapefruit.
  6. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season with salt, and toss them together gently with a spoon.

Well, after reading about all the goodness that citrus fruits have to offer, I’m sure you can’t wait to stock up on these delicious fruits! Do comment below and let us know which citrus fruits you love the most.

Back To TOC

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What citrus fruit has the most vitamin c?

Among citrus fruits, orange has the most vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content with about 70 milligrams of vitamin C found in a single medium-sized orange.

Are grapes citrus?

No. Grapes are berries that grow on deciduous vines and belong to the genus Vitis. Though they do contain a small amount of citric acid, the main acids found in grapes are tartaric and malic acids.

Is tomato a citrus fruit?

No. Though tomatoes do contain citric acid in abundance, they are not considered citrus fruits because they grow on vine plants that belong to the genus Solanaceae.

Is pineapple considered a citrus fruit?

No. Only fruits that belong to the genus Rutaceae are considered to be citrus fruits. Pineapple belongs to the Ananas genus of plants. It is acidic and has a tangy flavor because it contains ascorbic acid, not the citric acid that is found in citrus fruits.

Why do citrus fruits conduct electricity?

Citrus fruits conduct electricity because they contain acid and water. When a metal comes in contact with acid, the metal’s atoms give up electrons. The water in citrus fruits, in turn, allows the electrons to flow through and conduct electricity.

How to freeze citrus fruits?

When it comes to freezing citrus fruits, there are a bunch of different ways you can go about it. You can leave them whole and unpeeled, or you can peel them and cut them in slices. If you want to wet pack them, put the fruits in a freezer safe jar and fill it up with water. Make sure you leave about an inch wide space on top to so that the jar doesn’t break when the water expands after freezing. You can also dry pack them by simply laying them on a tray covered with cookie paper. Once the fruits have frozen, simply pop them in a ziplock bag for easy storage.

The following two tabs change content below.
Skip to toolbar