It is official– Citrus season in Louisiana has come to a close. It won’t be until late October and early November before we see another satsuma, navel orange, or a grapefruit. In honor of losing one of our favorite fruits there is a video from YouTube about an orange being the center master and commander of the universe. Citrus definitely ruled the world for several months at the Hollygrove Market & Farm.
Citrus originated in Asia and moved gradually West with every major world event namely all those wars for control of the spice trade. Citrus grows just about any region from the sour oranges of Afghanistan, the seedless orange, Shamouti, in Israel to the tangerine which derives its name from Tangiers, North Africa.
Citrus has left its footprint on every continent on the planet. Customs vary widely in the manner in which it is consumed. For example, having orange juice with breakfast is not very widespread and is considered an American habit although it is somewhat popular in among the Danes, Hondurans, Filipinos, and Jamaicans. Children in Australia can often be found with an orange in their lunch box peeled spirally halfway down and is often consumed by sucking the juice right out of the middle.
Some interesting facts:
The color of an orange has no absolute correlation with the maturity of the flesh and juice inside. An orange can be a sweet and ripe as it can be and still be green on the tree. Coolness, slightly chilly temperatures are what makes an orange –orange.
Citrus fruit is a berry called a hesperidium.
Citrus is monoecious both sexes can be found in the same single blossom. Mean that the fruit can be set parthenocarpically–they will produce fruit without fertilization.
Citrus doesn’t have true seed. For example: plant a Perisan Lime seed and that tree may turn out to be a carnival of sweet oranges, bitter oranges, grapefruit, lemons all growing on the same tree.
So all this talk of citrus now that the season is over may seem rather pointless, doesn’t it? Well it was actually inspiration for the recipe this week’s Buyers’ Club box: a tasty light Thai chicken & lemongrass soup. Most Thai soups are a little labor intensive but the pay off is enoromous! There are no real cooking skills needed just the patience and a little extra time in all the prep work. For more tips in Thai cooking: www.templeofthai.com
Week 25: Thai Chicken & Lemongrass Soup
Hollygrove Market & Farm: Map of Farms