Long Reads

The 7 Fruits You Should Eat More of This Month

January  3, 2015

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.  


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1. Mangoes
Thanks to multiple growing locations with overlapping seasons, you can eat mangoes almost year-round. If you're impatiently waiting for yours to ripen, grab some rice.

Cook: Khao Niaw Mamuang (Sticky Rice with Mango and Salty-Sweet Coconut Cream) or Mango Yogurt and Granola


Navel Orange Blood Oranges

2. Oranges 
Stock up on a variety of oranges -- mandarin, blood, bergamot -- and then impress your friends with your knowledge of the origin of a navel orange's “navel.”

Cook: Beet, Orange, and Black Olive Salad or Orange Scented Olive Oil Sticky Buns


Lemon Meyer Lemons

3. Lemons 
Fill your bag with both regular and Meyer lemons, the latter of which are actually a hybrid of a lemon and an orange.

Cook: Lemon Meringue or Meyer Lemon Focaccia

More: Buy an extra bag or two of lemons for preserving and you'll have a salty condiment for the months to come.


Finger Limes

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.



5. Quince
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.)

Cook: Quince Tarte Tatin or Quince Membrillo



6. Persimmons
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.

Cook: Winter Fruit Salsa or Persimmon Bruschetta



7. Pomegranates
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.

Cook: Pomegranate Flank Steak or Hearty Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Pomegranate Seeds, and Toasted Hazelnuts

Tell us: What fruits will you eat more of this month?

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Nell Wade
    Nell Wade
  • Mu Yang
    Mu Yang
  • aixpat
  • Marsha Gainey
    Marsha Gainey
  • Lindsay-Jean Hard
    Lindsay-Jean Hard
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


Nell W. January 6, 2015
I made your Quince Membrillo recipe a couple of days ago and it's delicious. But, I've run out of sugar and am wondering if you can use honey in it's place. Since, it needs to solidify I don't know if honey would have the same properties. Please advise soon as my quinces are getting VERY ripe! Thanks!
Lindsay-Jean H. January 7, 2015
Hi Nell, I'm afraid I don't know. You might want to try asking this question through the recipe page (https://food52.com/recipes/19977-quince-membrillo) to get help from the community on the Hotline, or send a direct message to the author by clicking the envelope icon on her profile page (https://food52.com/users/16479-alexandra-stafford). Best of luck with the next batch!
Mu Y. January 5, 2015
Persimmons! Growing up in Beijing, our favorite way to eat ripe persimmon is to freeze it first (this was usually done by leaving the persimmons out on the balcony in the winter) and scoop out the luscious flesh with a spoon. Not works on first Japanese persimmons though, unless they are ripe and soft.
aixpat January 5, 2015
Where do you find finger limes? I've never seen them in a US grocery store (and I've looked!).
Lindsay-Jean H. January 5, 2015
If you haven't had luck at a specialty grocery store, you might try contacting Frieda's (http://www.friedas.com/find-friedas/) for help finding them -- that's where ours came from. Or you could try ordering them online, like from Melissa's: http://www.melissas.com/Finger-Limes-p/615.htm.
Marsha G. January 4, 2015
Pears are still looking good in the stores, too.