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Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits have stippled rinds that surround pulp that's tart, juicy, and rich in vitamin C and other nutrients.  Most citrus fruits are first peeled, then the pulp is either eaten out of hand or squeezed to make juice, but some, like the kumquat, are eaten peel and all.  The peels contain fragrant oils, and their zest is often used to flavor foods.  When buying citrus fruit, select specimens that are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size.  They keep longer if you store them in the refrigerator.

Pronunciation:  SIH-truss


bergamot = bergamot orange   Pronunciation:  BUHR-gah-mot   Notes:   This is a small acidic orange, used mostly for its peel.  Don't confuse it with the herb that goes by the same name.   Substitutes:  limes

blood orange = pigmented orange   Notes:  These red-fleshed oranges are more popular in Europe than in the United States.  Look for them in the winter and spring.  Substitutes:  orange (flesh orange, not red, more acidic) OR tangerines (sweeter)  

Buddha's hand citron = Buddha's fingers citron = fingered citron Notes:  This fragrant fruit has hardly any flesh, but the peel can be candied.  Substitutes:  citron OR lemon

calamansi (lime)  See kalamansi (lime)

calamondin = calamondin orange = China orange =  Panama orange   Substitutes:  kumquats (slightly smaller) OR kalamansi

cedro  See citron

China orange  See calamondin (orange).  

Chinese grapefruit  See pomelo

citron = cedro = yuzu  Pronunciation:   SIHT-ruhn   Substitutes:  lemon

clementine orange  See mandarin orange. 

fingered citron  See Buddha's hand citron.

Florida key lime  See lime


grapefruit  Notes:  A grapefruit is a large, slightly tart kind of citrus fruit. The rind is mostly yellow, and often tinged with green or red. Grapefruits are categorized by the color of their pulp: red, pink, or white (which is more honey-colored than white). The color of the pulp doesn't affect the flavor.  When buying grapefruit, select specimens that are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size.  Some varieties are seedless.   They're best in the winter and spring.  Substitutes:  ugli fruit (more flavorful, but don't cook it) OR pomelo (less acidic and less bitter) OR tangelo (tangerine-grapefruit cross) 

jeruk purut  See kaffir lime

kabosu = kabosu lime  Substitutes:  lime


kaffir lime = jeruk purut = leech lime = limau purut = magrood = makroot = makrut  Notes:  Thai cooks use these golf ball-sized limes to give their dishes a unique aromatic flavor.  Kaffir limes have very little juice, usually just the zest is used.  Substitutes:  citron OR lime OR kaffir lime leaves (One tablespoon of zest from a kaffir lime is equivalent to about six kaffir lime leaves.)

kalamansi = kalamansi lime = calamansi = calamansi lime = musk lime = musklime  Notes:  The very sour kalamansi looks like a small round lime and tastes like a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. It's very popular in the Philippines.  Substitutes:   calamondin (This is very similar to the kalamansi.) OR lemons OR mandarin oranges


key lime = Florida key lime = Mexican lime  Notes:  These are smaller and more acidic than the more common Persian limes.  Substitutes:  limes (Many cooks prefer freshly squeezed Persian lime juice over bottled key lime juice for key lime pies.)


kumquat  Pronunciation:   KUHM-kwaht  Notes:   These look like grape-sized oranges, and they can be eaten whole. The flavor is a bit sour and very intenseThey peak in the winter months.    Substitutes:  limequats OR calamondin oranges OR Seville oranges (for marmalade)

leech lime  See kaffir lime


lemon   Equivalents:  One lemon yields about 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice.    Notes:  This very sour citrus fruit is rarely eaten out of hand, but it's widely used for its juice, rind, and zest.  Varieties include the Eureka lemon, which is what you're most likely to find in markets, the Lisbon lemon, which shows up in the winter and is smaller and smoother than the Eureka, and the trendy Meyer lemon, which is much sweeter and pricier than an ordinary lemon. When buying lemons, select specimens that are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size.    Substitutes:   grapefruits (These make an interesting meringue pie.) OR limes OR citrons (These are used only for their peels.) OR lemongrass (in soups and marinades)  

limau purut  See kaffir lime


lime  Notes:  These tart green fruits are similar to lemons, but they're more acidic and have their own unique flavor.  Varieties include the common Persian lime = Tahiti lime and the smaller, less juicy, and more acidic Florida key lime = key lime = Mexican lime. When buying limes, select specimens that are dark green, smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size.   Equivalents:  1 lime yields about 2 tablespoons lime juice   Substitutes:   lemon (Lemons have a weaker flavor and are less acidic, so use a bit more to compensate.) OR kalamansi

limequat   Notes:  This is a cross between a lime and a kumquat.  It's similar in size and shape to a kumquat, but with a green or yellow-green skin.  It has a strong lime flavor.  Substitutes:  kumquats (very similar in appearance, different flavor) 

magrood  See kaffir lime

makroot  See kaffir lime

makrut  See kaffir lime.


mandarin orange  Notes:   These have a pleasant enough flavor, but their big asset is that they come out of their peels and segment easily, so you can eat them in your good clothes.  Varieties include the popular tangerine, the seedy but juicy honey tangerine = Murcott, the satsuma orange, the sweet and tiny clementine orange, and the seedy and orange-flavored temple orangeSubstitutes:  orange  

Mexican lime  See lime.


Meyer lemon  Notes:  This is sweeter than an ordinary lemon, and highly prized by gourmet chefs.  It's a bit hard to find in supermarkets.   Substitutes:  ordinary lemons

musk lime  See kalamansi (lime)


orange = sweet orange   Notes:   Most American oranges are produced in Florida and California.  Florida oranges are juicier, and better suited to squeezing, while California oranges segment more easily and are better for eating out of hand.  The best oranges are smaller, thin-skinned, and heavy for their size. Substitutes:  blood orange (less acidic, red flesh) OR mandarin orange Or kumquats OR ugli fruit OR grapefruit OR pomelo (especially for marmalade) 

Panama orange  See calamondin (orange).

Persian lime  See lime

pigmented orange  See blood orange.


pomelo = pummelo = Chinese grapefruit = shaddock  Pronunciation:  PUHM-uh-low  Notes:  This has a very thick peel, so you have to work hard to eat it.  Many people think it's worth the trouble, for the pulp is milder and sweeter than its closest substitute, the grapefruit.   Substitutes:  grapefruit (more acidic and more bitter)  

pummelo  See pomelo


rangpur lime  Notes:  This is similar to a mandarin orange, only more acidic.  Substitutes:  mandarin orange

satsuma orange  See mandarin orange. 

Seville orange = bitter orange = bigarade orange = sour orange  Notes:  These are too bitter for eating out of hand, but they make a wonderful orange marmalade and the sour juice is perfect for certain mixed drinks.  Substitutes:  (for the juice) Mix 1 part lime or lemon juice + 2 parts orange juice OR 2 parts grapefruit juice + 1 part lime juice + dash orange zest OR 2 parts lime juice + 1 page orange juice OR (for marmalade) kumquats OR (for marmalade) oranges

shaddock  See pomelo.

Tahiti lime  See lime. 

tangelo  Notes:  There are several different varieties of tangelos, each a cross between a tangerine and another citrus fruit.  The Mineola, a tangerine-grapefruit cross, is especially popular.  Look for them in markets from late fall through winter.   Substitutes:  mandarin orange OR grapefruit OR orange


tangerine  See mandarin orange. 

temple orange  See mandarin orange.


ugli fruit = Uniq fruit®  

This grapefruit-mandarin cross looks like a grapefruit in an ill-fitting suit. It's sweet and juicy, though, and simple to eat since the peel comes off easily and the fruit pulls apart into tidy segments that are virtually seedless. 

Americans pronounce the name "ugly," but in Jamaica, where it's grown, it's pronounced "HOO-glee." Some marketers have tried calling it "Uniq fruit®," but the name hasn't caught on much. 

Ugli fruit are available from December through April.  Most specimens are much uglier than the one pictured here, but don't let that deter you. Select fruits that are heavy for their size, and that give a little when you press them.  

Substitutes:  grapefruit (not as sweet) OR orange (smaller)  

uniq fruit®   See ugli fruit.

yuzu  See citron.


Copyright © 1996-2005  Lori Alden