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Springtime in a Glass

By Mark Mulcahy
Image of Organic Minneola Tangelos
In the children’s story Goldilocks, the young girl looked around the bear’s house for the perfect bed to nap in. One was toooo soft, one was toooo hard, and one was just right! Buying citrus can often be like Goldilocks’ experience when it comes to flavor. Some are too sweet. Yes, I do believe fruit can be too sweet. Often new varieties are bred for their high sugar content, resulting in the loss of complexities and subtle nuances often found in older varieties. Some are too tart, when they are picked too early, and in the case of Melissa’s Organic Minneola Tangelos in the month of March, they can be just right!

During the beginning weeks of March, when the slightest hints of Spring send ones heart aflutter, the often seedless Minneola develops the perfect balance of a sweet tart flavor. We can thank the parents of this fruit, a Duncan grapefruit and a Dancy tangerine, for this wonderful combination of flavors. With this being such a great citrus year, you can expect to find great tasting Melissa’s Organic citrus wherever you go.

So how do you pick the best fruit? Look for fruit that:
  • Is firm and heavy for its size. Pick up a few and you should be able to tell right away.
  • Isn’t too soft, or have soft spots.
  • Has bright, shiny, slightly pebbly skin. If it is wrinkled or shriveled it has started to age and may be dry inside.
  • Has a scent that smells fresh and fragrant with no hint of fermentation.
Organic Minneolas do well in your fruit bowl, as they can keep at room temperature for three or four days, if they are kept out of the warmest part of the house. Like most citrus they prefer to be stored between 45° and 48° F, after a few days it’s best to move them into the refrigerator. If you need them to last longer they can keep for up to two weeks if you store them in the refrigerator when you get them home.

Quick Cooking Tip: 1 medium Minneola Tangelo will provide about 4 teaspoons of zest.

Minneola’s make a really nice juice, so much that juice makers are now including some Minneola juice in their OJ. If you’d like to make some juice at home, here’s a few quick tips that may helpful.
  • If you are keeping your Minneola’s in the fridge, then pull them out to bring them to room temperature to get the most juice out of them.
  • It will take 2 to 4 medium Minneola Tangelos to make 1 cup of juice.
  • To get the most Vitamin C and B vitamins from your Minneola juice make your juice, as close to the time you’ll be drinking it.
  • For the best flavor do not store freshly squeezed Minneola juice for more than 48 hours.
Now go find a sunny spot to sip on your glass of citrusy goodness, flip through some seed catalogs and spring will feel even closer.
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