Monday, March 9, 2009

Know Your Fruit

I pride myself in being able to pick out beautiful fruit. Looking for blemishes, just the right color, shape, and ripeness is all factored into a good pick. While preparing for a cooking class last week I carefully chose some beautiful citrus fruit--lemons, limes and oranges. I washed them up and began preparing them for the various dishes that needed to be made. That is when I discovered much to my dismay, my error in picking out the fruit.

I was zesting an orange for orange rolls, but the zest didn't smell right. I checked the orange. The color was right, the shape was right, but the odor was just a hint off. So, I cut it in half. It was pink! My orange was a grapefruit.
After visiting the market again and talking with the produce man, it turns out that it was a Cara Cara Orange, a mix between an orange and a grapefruit--and quite delicious--just not right for orange rolls, but perfect for a salad or just plain eating, which is what I did.

So, I put it to you. Which of these three fruits is the real orange?

The Cara Cara orange was very expensive ($1.99/lb) and if I had been a better shopper I would have noticed the mistake at the market! This type of orange is labeled "orange" in the store, not grapefruit, FYI--so lots of people get it wrong. And you can only get these delightful fruits for a few weeks every year so it was my good fortune to have stumbled across them as I did. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you really do get to make lemonade (or in this case, grapefruitade?).

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