The History Behind California Citrus Fruits.
From lemons to grapefruit to a variety of oranges, California’s citrus fruit is a global phenomenon. With the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 1700s to the arrival of settlers in the 1840s, locals have cultivated citrus fruits as a means of sustenance and profit. With a unique growing climate, fertile soil, and proven farming methods, California citrus fruit is guaranteed to make your taste buds come alive.
How the Weather and Soil Make California Citrus Fruits Delicious
Historically, citrus fruits were grown in Mediterranean climates. With a mix of warm weather and rainfall, citrus trees thrived. That’s why it should come as no surprise that these fruits grow so well in California. The optimal range for growing citrus fruit is a climate between 60 and 90 degrees accompanied by rainfall and a long period of heat in the summer. California, especially the southern half of the state, has all of these qualities.
In addition, the sweetness of the fruit is a result of a long stretch of heat, i.e. the longer the heat lasts, the sweeter the citrus fruit will become. Citrus fruits can also die or lose their fruit if temperatures fall below freezing, but this rarely happens in California. The acidity and drainage of the soil are also ideal for the cultivation of citrus fruits, providing California with a trifecta of natural growing conditions found few other places in the world.
The Best Citrus Fruits from California
The value of the California citrus fruit industry is nearly $3.3 billion, making it the second-most valuable industry in the country. But what separates California from the orange-heavy groves of Florida is the state’s variety of citrus fruits. While tastes may vary from person to person, most can agree that these are the most delectable fruits the state has to offer.
Navel oranges comprise nearly 50% of all citrus fruit grown in California and with good reason. With a super-sweet flavor, no seeds, and an easy-to-peel rind, navels are a quick and healthy snack.
Mandarin oranges are the second-most cultivated citrus fruit in California, representing 22% of all citrus farmland. These oranges are slightly smaller than navels and have seeds, but are typically easier to peel and segment.
California lemons don’t taste all that different from other lemons, but oftentimes, they’re far larger. With more rainfall than other growing regions, these giant lemons provide more juice and pulp than competitors.
Comprising 11.2% of the citrus fruit crop in California, Valencia oranges are the stereotypical large orange spheres made famous by Florida. They have few seeds, and because of their sweet flavor, they’re ideal for juicing.
Only 3.2% of citrus fruits in California are grapefruits, but lovers of this fruit are still drawn to the crop. Bitter and tart compared to other oranges, these fruits are tasty with a small addition of sugar to remove some of the tartness.
Other Citrus Fruits
California is also famous for other types of citrus fruits, including clementines, minneolas, cara cara oranges, blood oranges, and limes. Ideal for cooking or as a snack, these citrus fruits are known to taste just a bit better when they’re from California thanks to prime growing conditions.
If you love the sweet-tart mix of sugar and acidity that only citrus fruits provide, California oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits should satisfy your craving. So don’t go with imports or citrus fruits from other regions when California’s fruit is readily available. You’ll only end up disappointing your flavor palate.
Our thoughts are with you during this COVID-19 pandemic and we hope you and your loved ones are safe. We will continue supplying the healthiest, freshest produce to our customers, this Vitamin C packed fruit is an essential part of an overall healthy immune system and hope you remain healthy and safe while we overcome the current pandemic together.