December 7

December 7

Citrus taste tests

As more citrus comes into season, we’ll continue to sing about what we’re loving! This week, that’s Fairchild tangerines from B&J Ranch. These tangerines are grown in Thermal, down in the desert by the Salton Sea (and just up the road from Wong Farms’ mangoes!) Bill Jessup took over the 25 acre farm from his father in 1976, converted it to organics, and has been farming it organically ever since. Bill grows lots of fun citrus varieties but the Fairchild is the one we never want to miss. It’s a cross between an Orlando tangelo and a clementine. It’s well-adapted to the desert which makes it often one of the first tangerines at market. The Fairchild has a tight skin and is lightly seeded, but its flavor more than makes up for it.

Biting into a Fairchild releases a burst of sweet, floral citrus juice. For those of us raised on sugary powdered drinks, that first hit of a Fairchild kicks off a nostalgic trip to childhood and paper cups full of Tang – the nectar of astronauts. (Shout out to the mid-century chemists who distilled the essence of citrus, stripped out the nutrition, and preserved it!) A Fairchild has that same essence, but in extra vibrant three dimensions dripping with juice.. It would be a fantastic juicing tangerine if it weren’t so delicious to eat out of hand! We recommend quartering them which makes peeling and thwarting any stray seeds a breeze. 

Their slot in the box this week was originally penciled in as “passion fruit”, but a harvest delay put us on the search for something delicious on short notice. Some of the best (and most delicious!) things in life are serendipitous, and these tangerines prove it. Store on the counter. Grown organically in Thermal.

We love a good white grapefruit, one that has a full flavor, sweet and tart, with its bitterness tamed. That’s a Melogold grapefruit! These are grown by Murray Family Farms down in Bakersfield. Melogolds are a cross between a pomelo (which lends a relatively lower acidity) and a white grapefruit (which gives the floral-fruity flavors). If you’ve ever had a true 100% white grapefruit – oooh boy pucker up because they can be real tart! – you quickly see the importance of hybridization.

The name is derived from the “mellow” sweet-tart balance and the beautiful golden color that the grapefruit develops later in the season. Melogolds are our favorite precursor to the Oro Blanco grapefruits that will come along later in the season. Melogolds and Oro Blancos are actually siblings developed in the same breeding program (god bless the UC Riverside citrus breeding program). Melogolds are juicy, full of sweet-tart flavor, and are nearly seedless. The membrane is not as tough or bitter as a pomelo’s, so you can slice right through it and eat the whole thing. Eating them alongside the Chandler pomelo would be a fun tasting! Store on the counter. Grown organically in Bakersfield. 

Also in the box!

California blueberries! Store in the fridge. Grown organically in Lompoc by Sandra Newman of Forbidden Fruit Orchards.

Hayward green kiwifruit. They’re ready to eat but you can store them on the counter. Grown organically in Marysville by Wild River.

Black Twig apples. Store in the fridge to maintain crispness. Grown organically in Sebastopol by Stan Devoto of Devoto Orchards

Owari Satsuma mandarins. Store on the counter. Grown organically in Winters by Terra Firma Farms. 

Fuyu persimmons. Store on the counter. Grown organically in Winters by Toby Hastings of Free Spirit Farms

Chandler pomelo. Store on the counter. Grown organically in Bakersfield by Murray Family Farms.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.