Your Go-To Citrus Shopping Guide: How to Choose the Best Fruit

January 06, 2020 | Food Lion
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Have you ever stood in the produce section at the grocery store trying to decide on the best lemon, lime, orange or any other type of citrus fruit? You are definitely not alone in that department! In fact, when you search “how to pick the best citrus” via Google, you get over 66 million results back. So, it’s obviously a topic many of us have wondered about. 

It’s true - unless you really know what to look for, it can be hard to pick the best fruit in terms of ripeness, juiciness and sweetness. That’s why we’ve put together this article; to act as your citrus shopping guide to help you while you shop in our stores and pick the best fruit to bring home to your family. From the common lemon and orange to the less well-known pomelo, we’ll reveal all of our tips for picking the best citrus fruits you’ll find in our stores, as well as recipes you and your family will love. 

Now, let’s dive into our citrus shopping guide and go through all of the juicy tips, starting with picking the best oranges.

How to Pick the Best Oranges

Here’s what you probably know about oranges - they’re sweet, make a great juice and kids (and some grown-up kids) love to make funny orange smiles with the peels. But, did you know that the color of the orange doesn’t necessarily indicate the ripeness of the fruit inside the peel? That’s right! So, just because an orange is lighter in color or has a little green hue to it, don’t eliminate it from your orange options just yet. Instead, examine the oranges a little closer. Pick them up and give them a gentle squeeze. Does the orange feel plump? Does the peel immediately bounce back after applying pressure? If that’s the case, chances are you’ve found a nice, juicy orange to bring home to your family.

Orange Chiffon Cake | Recipes | Food Lion

Recipe Idea with Oranges

Want to incorporate your orange into a tasty dessert? We have a recipe to try - orange chiffon cake! Sweet, fluffy and fresh, this cake is definitely a crowd-pleaser and uses a lot of the orange fruit in the recipe, including some zest from the peel, juice and flesh from the orange segments. You’ll need two oranges for this recipe, as well as eggs, oil, sugar, salt, white and orange jelly beans and a few other ingredients for the frosting. 

Snag the full Orange Chiffon Cake recipe here!

Citrus Shopping Guide | Fresh Ideas | Food Lion

How to Find the Juiciest Lemons

Next up on our citrus shopping guide is lemons! These fruits are known to be tart, but make a great drink when mixed with water and sugar. Lemonade anyone? 

But, when you’re shopping at your local Food Lion, how do you know which lemon will be the ripest of the bunch? Unlike oranges, the color of the lemon is definitely an indicator. For ultimate ripeness, look for a bright yellow lemon. With these citrus fruits, green means that the lemon was picked a little early, but would still make a fine choice for zest in a recipe.

Besides the color of the lemon, you should also consider the weight. A super juicy lemon will be heavier for its size. So, when testing the weight, grab two lemons that are relatively the same size. If one feels heavier, it will probably be the juicier lemon between the two.

Lemon Pepper Salmon | Recipes | Food Lion

Recipe Idea with Lemons

Now for some recipe inspiration! Who doesn’t love an easy, delicious dinner recipe that takes a total of 40 minutes to prep and cook? This lemon pepper salmon recipe is so simple and only requires 12 ingredients. You’ll need salmon fillets, garlic, lemon pepper, lemon, assorted fresh vegetables and a few different spices. Wrap everything up in foil and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. So easy, right? 

Get the recipe and get cooking! 

Citrus Shopping Guide | Fresh Ideas | Food Lion

Finding the Ripest Limes

Just like choosing the ripest and juiciest lemon, the best limes will also be bright in color, but in this case, bright green instead of yellow. The weight of the lime is also important to consider for a juicy fruit. Again, just like lemons, the heavier the fruit for its size, the juicier it will be. 

You can also smell the lime. If it smells fresh and lime-y, then it should be nice and ripe!

Citrus Shopping Guide | Fresh Ideas | Food lion

Recipe Idea with Limes

You have probably made limeade in the past or maybe a key lime pie, but have you ever used your limes to whip up some spicy chipotle lime hummus for a zesty appetizer served with fresh veggies and chips? For this recipe, you’ll need chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, chili peppers in adobo sauce, garlic, a few spices and of course, lime! 

Visit our recipe portal for the full details.

Citrus Shopping Guide | Fresh Ideas | Food Lion

Picking the Best Grapefruit

Next up on our citrus shopping guide is grapefruit! This tangy and sour fruit is typically eaten in the morning for breakfast with a little sugar and a spoon. So, when you’re perusing the produce department at the grocery store, how do you know which grapefruit to pick? 

Just like lemons and limes, the color of the peel is important. Look for a slightly reddish tint to the grapefruit for ultimate ripeness. Plus, the deeper the tone, the more flavorful it will be. 

Next, check the skin (or peel). Is it smooth? Does it feel slightly thin? If so, that’s a good sign of a ripe grapefruit! 

Lastly, just like an orange, gently squeeze the grapefruit. Does the shape bounce back immediately? That means you have a juicy citrus fruit in your hands.

Citrus Shopping Guide | Fresh Ideas | Food Lion

Recipe Idea with Grapefruits

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect grapefruit, it’s time to eat! But, if you want to try something different besides the traditional sugar and spoon breakfast dish, how about making a citrus mint salad? This recipe is so refreshing and tasty, plus extremely easy to make. All you need is grapefruit, oranges, honey and mint.

And if you want to turn your citrus salad into a dish perfect for Valentine’s Day, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut your fruit!

Citrus Shopping Guide | Fresh Ideas | Food Lion

Choosing the Perfect Pomelo

Have you ever heard of a pomelo (or pumelo) fruit? This large citrus fruit is often overlooked in the grocery store, most likely due to shoppers being unaware of its deliciousness. The pomelo is very similar to a grapefruit in flavor but is a little sweeter and not quite as juicy. So, if you haven’t tried one, we definitely suggest giving pomelos a chance! 

When shopping for a pomelo, look for a yellowish or light green color to the fruit. That’s a good indicator that it’s ripe. Then, just like lemons and limes, check to see if the fruit feels heavy for its size by comparing two or three similar-sized pomelos. The heavier, the juicier the citrus fruit will be.

How to Eat a Pomelo

If you’ve never had a pomelo, knowing how to eat it is definitely important. First, remove the rind from the fruit. Then, cut the fruit from the membrane around the juicy segments. Unlike oranges, you do not eat the membrane in pomelos. You can also eat pomelos with a spoon as you do with grapefruits. 

As you get ready for your next trip to the grocery store, we hope these tips come in handy and are your go-to citrus shopping guide. Want more juicy information about your favorite citrus fruits? Check out our other blog all about citrus

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