In an effort to make this community worth the username, I will officially try to post to it once a week. In that vein, I delivered this speech on citrus fruits to my English class in May of 2006:
When you are at the market, you may not notice the humble citrus fruit, but it’s there and it’s waiting for you! Don’t think that they are just for breakfast! Citrus fruit is lovely at any time of day. Citrus fruit is so versatile that you can have it on any occasion. No matter whom you are, one of the myriad varieties of citrus fruit will appeal to you. Citrus fruit can come with you anywhere. No need to wash, just peel and eat! Open yourself to a world of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits and pomelos and experience a happier, healthier you!
Let’s go on a journey together. Let’s look at the citrus inside and out. The fruit itself is gorgeous. Imagine sitting down to the table and eating a sunrise. Think about a perfectly ripe grapefruit – a thin stripe of yellow, a band of white and a blushing pink core. Or take half a blood orange and marvel at the slow progression of color from a delicate light orange to deep blood red. The world of the citrus fruit is full of the happiest colors on earth. Add some citrus to your diet and add a splash of orange, a blush of pink, a streak of green, a ray of golden yellow or a hint of the deepest red. The appeal of the citrus fruit isn’t just that of taste or aesthetics. There’s a reason why so many perfumes contain citrus notes – the scent of citrus evokes summer, happiness and pure joy. Next time you peel that orange take a deep breath and experience it for yourself.
Beyond being enjoyable to experience, the citrus fruit is full of intangibles. Aside from being fat and sodium free, citrus fruit is a delicious source of energy and vitamins A, C and K. It’s not just vitamins; citrus fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber, potassium and folic acid. The health benefits that come from citrus fruit are almost as numerous as the kinds of citrus available. A diet rich in citrus fruit has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and birth defects. The consumption of citrus fruit helps the body absorb iron, leading to a decreased risk of anemia. Antioxidants such as those found in citrus fruits can also help prevent the formation of cataracts. Citrus fruit can also improve cognitive function in adults, so next time you’re thinking about polishing an apple for your teacher; turn your thoughts towards an orange instead.
So how do you know what citrus fruit is right for you? For me it’s the blood orange. I can remember eating the perfect blood orange. Perfectly ripe all around, a red so deep it was almost purple all the way through. Juicy but not messy, it had the familiar citrus tang but something more, a fruity undertone, similar to that of the pomegranate. To this day, I can remember how wonderful it tasted and how happy it made me. Maybe the blood orange isn’t what you look for in a fruit. Don’t think that the wide world of oranges isn’t for you. If you think that you don’t like oranges you just haven’t found the right one yet. If you like your fruit sweet and seedless, you might want to sample the Shamouti variety. Prefer something juicy? Try the navel or Valencia. Perhaps you’re the kind of person who eats for convenience. Don’t just settle for a banana, next time you’re on the go take an easy peel orange. These oranges have thin easy to peel skin which makes them some of the most portable fruits ever. If you’re a fan of sweet fruit, try the Michal or the juicy topaz. Want a strong flavored fruit? The Temple orange is for you. Or, if you’re the kind of person who’s in the middle of the road try the sweet and tangy Minneola. Really into convenience? Not to fear! There are oranges that are not only easy to peel, but seedless too! The Or, Murcott, Suntina and Winnola are sweet and juicy and for the sweet and tangy crowd, there’s the Satsuma. Not so into lugging around a full size orange? Bust open a box of Clementines and take this miniature citrus with you anywhere there’s a need – or scurvy!
Still not taking a shine to oranges? There’s a whole wide world of grapefruit available to you! Ruby red, pigmented or white, no matter what kind of sour you can tolerate there’s a grapefruit to suit. If you like to live on the edge and test your taste buds to the limit, go for the sour and juicy white grapefruit. Make things tangy with the red grapefruit or go sweet and sour with pigmented grapefruit. Just not the kind of person who likes a sour fruit? You don’t need to shut yourself away from grapefruit, just try a hybrid. The sweetie is as large as a grapefruit, but its as sweet as the giant asian pomelo.
More intrigued by the sound of the pomelo than grapefruit or orange? Next time you’re looking for some fruit, steer yourself towards some of the less well known citrus varieties. The giant, sweet pomelo isn’t the only exotic citrus fruit out there. Go biblical and take a tangy citron in your lunch. It’s perhaps the oldest citrus fruit still around today and is delightfully tangy. Want something tangy and unusual? Lay your hands on one of Buddha’s and try the exotic and lemony Buddha’s hand. Take a miniature approach and go for the kumquat – you can even eat it with the skin. If you’re into hybrids, try the limquat, a kumquat with the tangy edge of lime! Looking for a really unique hybrid fruit? Try the Ugli fruit, straight outta Jamaica! This hybrid of the grapefruit and the tangerine is mild and sweet enough for even the most cautious eaters. Citrus fruit doesn’t even have to be enjoyed straight up – add a tang to anything by squeezing on lemon or lime or throw your favorite citrus into juice or a smoothie.
Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to scurvy! Make the most of such a delicious way to improve your health. Take advantage of an easy and tasty way to keep up your five-a-day and add fiber and vitamins to your diet. No matter what your tastes are, there’s a citrus fruit with one to match. Enjoy a citrus with breakfast or lunch. Add a sweet surprise to your salad by tossing in pieces of citrus fruit. By now you may have guessed that I am a citrus fruit enthusiast, and I hope that after hearing my speech and embracing the citrus family, you will be too.