Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
Today: In the dead of winter, when your market bags are laden with dark leafy greens and root vegetables, don't forget about fruit. Just tell yourself you're preventing scurvy and load up on one of these 7 sweet winter fruits.
Fill your bag with both regular and Meyer lemons, the latter of which are actually a hybrid of a lemon and an orange.
More: Buy an extra bag or two of lemons for preserving and you'll have a salty condiment for the months to come.
4. Finger Limes
The pulp (more properly called juice vesicles) of most citrus fruit looks like elongated teardrops, but a finger lime’s vesicles are tiny little balls. A tart fruit caviar that holds its shape until the beads burst in your mouth, these spheres are basically all-natural lime-flavored Pop Rocks.
Cook: Use finger lime pulp in cocktails like a gin and tonic, as a garnish for hors d'oeuvres, or to replace some of the lime juice in a vinaigrette (like this one) for a burst of flavor in every bite.
Despite what you may have heard, quinces are absolutely edible when raw: It just requires patience (to let them ripen well beyond your comfort zone, not unlike persimmons) or work (either by hitting them with a blunt object until soft, or chewing a piece for a very long time). Call us crazy, but we're partial to cooking them. (We'd rather take out our aggression on ice.)
Not all persimmon varieties produce seeds, but if you come across one that does, get ready for a new career as a meteorologist. Allegedly, you can split a seed and predict* the coming winter. If the kernel inside resembles a fork, you'll be in for a mild winter, while a spoon means heavy snow, and a knife predicts bitter, cold winds.
*Accuracy of results not guaranteed.
Their ruby-colored arils will brighten up the darkest winter day, and removing them isn't as tough as it seems -- choose the underwater method, the piñata method, or the perfectionist method.
Tell us: What fruits will you eat more of this month?