Here’s the scoop on citrus fruits

citrus fruits

Ever wonder how to eat a kumquat or how a tangelo is different from an orange or tangerine? Here’s the scoop on five lesser known members of the citrus family:


Grapefruit isn’t all that uncommon, and most people know that it’s classified as a citrus fruit, but did you know that it’s great when paired with raw vegetables? It’s also good by itself or mixed with other fresh fruit. The grapefruit’s skin is orange and the flesh is red. The more red the flesh, the sweeter the grapefruit. Pro tip: Roll grapefruit on the counter before cutting for extra juice.

At the store, buy grapefruit that has a sweet smell, is heavy for it’s size and is free of bruises and other blemishes. Store them at a cool room temperature for two weeks or up to four weeks in the fridge.

Need some grapefruit recipes? Try grapefruit crisp, grapefruit guacamole salsa or grapefruit vanilla dream.


The minneola tangelo is a grapefruit and tangerine hybrid. The fruit has a slightly elongated neck or bump on one end. As for the size, a tangelo is about the size of an average fist. Tangelos are tart and have rich flavor. They have high juice content and are easy to peel.

At the grocery store, pick tangelos that are heavy for their size. As with other fruits, buy tangelos that don’t have bruises or other blemishes. Tangelos will keep at room temperature for a couple of days but will keep in the fridge for longer.


Kumquats taste mostly like oranges, with a little tangerine flavor. They’re orange and are a little bigger than grapes. Kumquats are eaten whole, just like grapes. The fruit’s small seeds can either be eaten or spit out. Kumquats have sweet-tasting skin and tart flesh.

If you’re shopping for kumquats at the grocery store, choose ones that are firm. You can store them at room temperature for a few days or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Buddha Hands

Buddha Hands don’t have any pulp or juice; they’re all rind. They’re used as an alternate for lemon zest. Buddha Hands are tangy and strong smelling.

At the store, buy fruits that smell clean and sweet. They can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks or kept in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.


Citrons are oblong or oval, fragrant citrus fruits with a rough, bumpy yellow peel. They can range in size from a few inches to 9 inches or larger. They aren’t very juicy, but they are thick and fleshy with pale yellow or green pulp. Citrons have many uses in cultures around the world. Citrons are candied, used in fruit cake, plum pudding, buns and sweet rolls. The fruit’s juice is also used in beverages in certain countries.

As with other citrus fruits, citrons should be inspected at the grocery store. Buy citrons that are heavy for their size and don’t have blemishes.

Sources: Fruit and Veggies—More Matters, The Fresh Market, Inc., Whole Foods Market, Purdue University

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.



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