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10 Citrus Fruits Worth Experimenting With in the Kitchen

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10 Citrus Fruits Worth Experimenting With in the Kitchen
Photo Steve Hodgson/Flickr

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 tham 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 favourite's 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.

2) Yuzu

Photo: PROEdsel Little/Flickr

Billed by some as a superfood contender, this Vitaminc C rich fruit hails from Japan. Tasting like a cross between a lemon, mandarin and grapefruit it's caught the interest of chefs. It's 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.

3) Pomelos

Photo source: The Kitchn

The pomelo might look like an oversized grapefruit but it lacks any of the grapefruits bitterness which it makes up for in sweetness. It's perfect for eating raw or tossed into salads, marinades, cocktails and salsas.

4) Tangelos

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 juciness Tangelos have a mild sweet flavour with a tart aftertaste. 

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 serveral acclaimed chefs with Renee Redzepi singling it out as his all time favourite Australian ingredient in an recent interview with Vogue. Perfect for adding as an elegant garnish they can also be thrown into salads or desserts.

6) Calamansi limes

Photo Credit: FruitMaven

This confusing fruit might be called after a lime but looks more like an orange,  it's called a multitude of names and offers up a vertiable surprise of different recognisable flavours. The flavours is a cross between a lemon, a kumquat and a lime.

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 spicey fragrance.

8) Bergamot

Photo Credit: Jacopo Werther/Wikimedia Commons

Bergamot has been known to upstage the blood orange and has come under chefs 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.

9) Kumquats

Photo: oliver.dodd/Flickr

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. 

10) Blood Lime

Photo: CSIRO
A cross between a red finger lime and an Ellendale mandarin. blood limes are a fantastic colour lending themselves well to garnishes, and the sweet tangy flavour also works well in jams and marmalades.

If all that talk of citrus has made you hungry, check out these citrus cake recipes.

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