When it comes to citrus, how adventurous are you? Do you play it safe with oranges and lemons or have you tapped into a whole tangy new world of unusual citrus fruits?
We've lined up ten unusual citrus fruits that are becoming popular with chefs, or you might find them popping up in your local supermarkets or menus wondering what they are.
Here they are in no particular order, from the weird and wonderful looking buddha's hand to Rene Redzepi's new favourite ingredient, the Australian finger lime.
Let us know if you have any favourites missing from the list.
1) Buddha's hand
Photo: By Kaldari/Wikipedia
This bizarre looking fruit doesn't conform to the common perception of citrus. There's no juice or pulp when you cut into it, although it has a sweet, lemon blossom aroma and a mild-tasting pith meaning the fruit can be used whole. The fruit is common in Asia, where it is often used to perfume rooms or clothing and may be given as a religious offering in Buddhist temples.
Photo: PROEdsel Little/Flickr
Billed by some as a superfood contender, this Vitamin C rich fruit hails from Japan. Tasting like a cross between a lemon, mandarin and grapefruit it's caught the interest of chefs. Its unique flavour lends itself well to both sweet and savoury cooking including fish, cocktails and desserts with the tartness of grapefruit and the aromas of a mandarin orange.
Photo source: The Kitchn
The pomelo might look like an oversized grapefruit but it lacks any of the grapefruit's bitterness which it makes up for in sweetness. It's perfect for eating raw or tossed into salads, marinades, cocktails and salsas. Pomelos are often eaten and used for celebrations throughout Southeast Asia. They are also grown in Hawaii and parts of the Caribbean.
Photo: Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr
A citrus fruit hybrid of a tangerine and a pomelo or grapefruit, tangelos can be mistake for oranges, as they're similar in size but come with a characteristic shape. Prized for their juiciness, tangelos have a mild sweet flavour with a tart aftertaste, making them a great substitute for mandarin oranges.
5) Finger Limes
Photo courtesty of Eric Weisser/Flickr
Native to Australia, this gherkin sized 'gourmet bushfood' is often likened to lime 'caviar' for its unusual globular interior of pearls of citrus which pop in the mouth releasing tangy citrus flavours. It's caught the attention of several acclaimed chefs with Renee Redzepi singling it out as his all-time favourite Australian ingredient in a recent interview with Vogue. Perfect for adding as an elegant garnish they can also be thrown into salads or desserts.
This confusing fruit might be called after a lime but looks more like an orange. It has a multitude of names and offers up a veriable surprise of different recognisable flavours. The flavour is a cross between a lemon, a kumquat and a lime. It is used as an ingredient in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine.
7) Meyer lemons
Photo: thekitchn Regular lemon left, Meyer lemon right
Slightly smaller than an average lemon, Meyer lemons also don't come with the same tang. While they're moderately acidic, they're also much sweeter and prized by chefs. They can be added raw to salads or desserts. Their rinds also have a more complex scent than regular lemons with a herby or spicy fragrance.
Photo Credit: Jacopo Werther/Wikimedia Commons
Bergamot has been known to upstage the blood orange and has come under chef's radars for its distinctive taste and aromatic rind. Originating in Italy it's believed to be a cross between a lime and a sour orange. The flesh is suited to jams and marmalades while the rind lends itself well to pastries. It is also commonly used as an ingredient in perfumes and cosmetics.
The size of a large olive, kumquats are delicious, sweet and tangy. The fruit can be eaten whole including the skins and thrown into salads, or cooked up whole or turned into marinades and preserves. Kumquats are native to Asia but were introduced to Europe and North America in the mid-19th century. Their trees are relatively resistant to the cold.
10) Blood lime
A cross between a red finger lime and an Ellendale mandarin, blood limes were first grown commercially in Australia in 2005. They are a fantastic colour lending themselves well to garnishes, and the sweet tangy flavour also works well in jams and marmalades.
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