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Jan 8, 2009 11:16 AM

this season's citrus

I've been wondering what is going on with the citrus this year. I've tried oranges, satsumas, and tangerines and they are all watery - some sweet, some sour, but all watery. Last weekend I went to Berkeley Bowl and tried a half dozen satsumas/tangerines and I've also tasted some of the citrus from the Ferry Bldg farmers market and Friday Oakland farmers market. Was there something different with the weather this year? Are restaurants getting good citrus? Am I just looking in the wrong place?

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  1. I haven't particularily noticed this, but it is still relatively early in the season. I can't think of a particular reason. The orange trees in my back yard seem about the same as last year. There has been less rain than usual but you would think that would have the opposite effect. Maybe farms are over-watering to compensate?

    1. I got some Page mandarins and an Oro Blanco grapefruit from Torey Farms at the Ferry Plaza last Saturday that were awesome, particularly the mandarins. I got a couple of Cara Cara oranges from one of the other farms that weren't that great. I think rw is right, it's still a little early.

      1 Reply
      1. re: srr

        I'm glad to hear of some good reports. I'll continue to try them out, especially Torey Farms if I make it to the FB market this weekend.

      2. It's the runup to Chinese New Year, so Chinatown will be loaded with fresh citrus at great prices.

        1. The Satsumas I bought in Dec. (Whole Foods, BB) were pretty tasty. The ones I bought more recently from above and also from Ferry Bldg farmers' market were dry and tasteless. Waiting for those Tom Wilkinson oranges at Andronicos, even if they're not organic!

          5 Replies
          1. re: MargotB

            Thanks for the reminder. Every year I keep meaning to try thos Wilkinson oranges and every year I forget until it is too late.

            1. re: rworange

              I think you mean Tom Wilson oranges - they are very good!

              1. re: jsaimd

                The only time I REALLY buy oranges is when Andronico has these Tom Wilson oranges -- I give them away to friends and we all are so impressed at the intense, sweet orange flavor. They are usually later than other oranges. Everyone nags the produce guys there, asking when they will be arriving. They come from Riverside and I've never seen them at any other store.

            2. re: MargotB

              The Tom Wilsons are in! I eagerly bought 4 yesterday -- the one I had was very juicy but not outstanding taste-wise. Maybe the others are better, or it's a little early (blink and they're gone!)
              Best citrus I've had so far/currenlty are the Fremont tangerines from both the Berkeley Bowl & produce market in Rockridge Hall -- juicy, sweet yet a little tart. Sometimes their skin is so tight it's easier to slice than peel them. Pages from the Bowl have been pretty good too. The Satsumas may be past their peak. I haven't been to any farmers markets in a month, though, so claim no expertise in the field, so to speak.

              1. re: MargotB

                Just got some Tom Wilson oranges at Andronico in SF and they tasted great, as always. They told me they will probably be on special sale next week, 98 c lb instead of $1.38 that I think I paid today so I'll go back then and buy a case and distribute to my friends. It's the only time I buy oranges.

            3. The navel oranges I bought at Trader Joe's are small and not very juicy, but they taste okay. I got some huge, juicy navels from Mi Terra market last week. The very best so far have been the pink oranges from the Monterey Market. They were great. Limes, on the other hand, have all been dry.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Glencora

                Were the pink oranges Cara Caras or some other variety?

                1. re: chemchef

                  The little sticker just said "pink orange." I actually bought them by mistake. They looked just like regular navel oranges until I cut them open.