One of the nicest flavours of Ibiza is a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice, but citrus fruit is more than just a breakfast treat. The island is dotted with orchards that provide delicious oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit, which you can enjoy fresh off the tree, or in a range of dishes. Here are 10 fun facts about citrus, plus a recipe you won’t want to miss.
- “Orange” is one of the only words in the English language that is both a fruit and a colour! The colour in oranges comes from carotene, a pigment also found in carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots and cantaloupe.
- Orange flowers are often used in wedding arrangements because they are associated with fertility. This is because the lush evergreen produces flowers and fruit at the same time.
- Limes, like oranges, produce blooms and fruit all year round. They have fragrant, yellow or white star-shaped flowers.
- “Limey” is slang for an English person. The nickname dates from the 1800s when the Royal Navy added lemon or lime juice to sailors’ rum rations because the vitamin C prevented scurvy.
- Lemons are a cross between sour oranges and citron fruit. Grapefruit is a hybrid that originated in Barbados as an accidental cross between sweet oranges and pomelos.
- Lemons and limes are both excellent sore throat cures, as they have anti-bacterial properties.
- Arabs brought lemons to Europe from their original home in Asia.
- The Spanish took citrus to the New World, starting with Christopher Columbus who carried fruit trees with him on his second voyage.
- Grapefruit contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is also found in tomatoes.
- Citrus fruit is incredibly nutritious. It has lots of vitamin C, plus B-vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium and more. It also has no fat, sodium or cholesterol.
If you want to get more citrus fruit into your diet there are lots of options. Like this salad!
Mixed fruit citrus salad
- 3-4 oranges
- 1 large grapefruit
- 100g strawberries
- 1 medium banana
- 3 dried figs
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 50ml runny honey or agave syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp coarse Ibiza sea salt
- Peel oranges and grapefruit
- Slice in half crosswise then separate into segments
- Hull the strawberries and slice in half
- Peel and chop the banana
- Dice the figs
- Put all the fruit into a medium salad bowl
- Combine lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and whisk together. Add more lemon or honey if needed to achieve desired consistency
- Pour over the fruit and toss well to combine
- Cover and let sit for 30-60 minutes to let the flavours develop
Serve with muesli and plain Greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast; serve with vanilla ice cream and a couple of biscuits for an indulgent dessert!
Share your favourite citrus recipe in the comments!