In this episode learn what fruit you should be looking out for in the grocery store or farmers market during the month of December. At top of mind is citrus, apples, and the last call for fresh cranberries.
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As we head into the last month of the year, it's time for citrus to really begin to pick up. That is what I am excited to be buying this year.
First off, the peak season for Satsuma mandarins is now. These easy to peel fruits have a sweet and tart flavor. Look for them at stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods, HEB, and Publix to name a few. When I was in the south last year at this time, I was finding locally grown ones all over place at stores and farmers market. Georgia has really gotten into growing them as they can grow in places that are a little cooler than Florida. And you can find them at any farmers market in California.
Many years ago, mandarins were really only seen at Christmas time, before the rise in popularity of the bags of citrus with the smiley faces on them. Clementines are at their peak at Christmas time. In fact, as we get into the winter, they go out of season even if the signs at the grocery store would beg to differ. You will hear about other types of mandarins that are found in those bags in January.
You may start seeing some blood oranges this month, but really I don't like to buy them until later in the season, as the first ones, don't have the flavor or color I like.
Pomelos and grapefruit are both in season now as well. When you shop for them, always place the fruit in the palm of your hand first. The ones that feel heavier will likely be the juiciest.
All the apples have been harvested now, but some varieties don't arrive in bulk to stores until this month. These are the apples I recommend trying out in December:
All of these varieties should be crisp and tasting good right now. During the holiday season you may find some small apples like Lady Apples or Crimson Gold. They are popular to add to platters for parties. I like small apples as a snack and for kids that may not eat a whole large apple.
Last call for fresh cranberries. They will become harder to find once we get into January. They freeze really well, so you can toss a bag or two in your freezer to use later on. I don't see why cranberries only have to be enjoyed at the holidays.
I was excited last month during a trip to Costco to find Red Kiwi and hoping they will continue into this month. They are only red on the inside and it's just a ring of red around the center of the fruit. These kiwis are sweet and delicious and I like the flavor better than a green kiwi. The skin is not hairy either, so you can actually eat the skin if you like, or you can cut the fruit in half and scoop out the inside with a spoon.
Lastly, persimmons should still be around this month. It's important to look up when the variety you are buying is ripe. Some can be eaten right away and some have to get really soft before you will want to eat them.
If you haven't yet signed up for my Fruit Season email list, head over to the show notes page and sign up now. You will be emailed each month when my monthly fruit picks episode has come out as well as learning all about the best fruit in season.