We can easily find citrus fruit in our everyday meals. Its high Vitamin C makes it perfect for our health supplement. Moreover, it also has a fresh, sour, and sweet taste that is perfect for any season. Mostly, we eat lemon, orange, or lime for that purpose. But, do you know that there are many types of citrus fruits? Here, we are going to find more about it.
The Original Types of Citrus Fruits
Citrus type, originally, only has three types. Mostly, this fruit grows in warm or tropical areas. Then, the scientist combined and made a hybrid of these three to let it grow in other climates. For that reason, we can find many types of citrus fruit today. As for the original type, here are the three of them:
Mandarin Orange (Citrus reticulata)
From its name, you can easily guess where it comes from. Yes, this citrus fruit grows in China. This citrus fruit type is one of many fruits that people have been cultivating since ancient times. And, we can still find it today.
It has a similar shape to the tangerines. Most of us often mistakenly call it tangerine because of that. It is only 4 to 8 cm big, which is smaller than a tangerine. The color is bright orange, which also becomes the source where the orange name came from.
The taste is sweet with a hint of sourness. We usually eat it just like that or use it as medicine in Chinese traditional medicine. They use it to treat abdominal and throat issues. But, in some areas, people believe that this fruit also brings good fortune.
Citron (Citrus medica)
This citrus fruit comes from India. It has a unique shape that looks like a hand grenade. The bright yellow color covers its whole surface which makes it stand out on its tree. The rind is one of the thickest of all citrus fruits.
When you open this fruit, you will find another unique sight in it. The pulp is not like other citrus fruit, juicy and watery. Citron has dry pulp, which looks inedible at first sight. But you can find it as one of the ingredients in many Asian cuisines. Mostly, we use its rind that has a strong fragrant to give a nice punch of aroma to the food.
People also use Citron as one of the religious offerings in many countries. As of today, you can still find this practice almost in every Asian country. However, mostly, we use Citron mainly for food ingredients.
Pomelo (Citrus maxima)
The last of the original three is Pomelo. You can find it grow well in the Southeast Asia area. The size is 6 to 10 inches in diameter. That makes Pomelo become the largest citrus fruit that you can find in the world. Thanks to its size, its weight can easily reach 1 to 2 kg.
The shape is almost similar to Citron. But it has a rounder shape with bright green color. The rind is quite thick and hard. In some Southeast Asian countries, people use this rind as the material for toys. They cut it in the shape of a crescent moon and make it a toy ship.
The pulp is huge, which is equal to its overall size. It is white, juicy, and watery. It tastes freshly sweet. You won’t find any hint of sourness in it. If you want to eat sweet citrus fruit, Pomelo is your best choice here.
Because of the sweet flavor of Pomelo, people love to use it as the ingredients for marmalade. Some of us also dip it in chocolate to give it an extra punch. It is indeed one of the best citrus fruit in terms of flavor.
The Hybrid Type Citrus Fruits
The scientist has cultivated and hybridized those three original citrus fruits. This effort produces an amazing result in the form of many new types of citrus fruit. Maybe, you are more familiar with these hybrid type citrus fruit than the original type. Here are some of the hybrid types of citrus fruit.
Orange (Citrus sinensis)
People tend to see this citrus fruit as the original citrus fruit. But, they are wrong. Scientist creates this new type by combining Mandarin and Pomelo. The result is what you can see today. It is an orange fruit with strong orange color and has a sweet taste.
Orange’s original country is China. Scientist even believes that people cultivated this fruit way back in 314 BC. We can even call it the earliest hybrid citrus fruit ever made. Thanks to their ability to survive in many conditions, this fruit spread all around the world. As of today, the production amount of this fruit can easily reach 80 million tons per year.
We love this fruit because of its sweet taste and juicy pulp. Therefore, people eat it raw or use it as the ingredients for the beverage. Furthermore, the perfume manufacturer also uses it in their product. Its strong tangy and citric aroma is perfect for creating calming nuance.
Tangerine (Citrus tangerina)
The tangerine name comes from the place where people cultivate it. It is the Tangier in Morocco. This fruit has a smaller size compared to the other citrus fruit. However, you can count on its taste, for the sweetest orange you can enjoy.
Furthermore, Tangerine also has a lower acid concentration level. Therefore, it is safe to eat, even though you have a stomach problem. But, our favorite part of this citrus fruit is the seedless feature. It means you can gobble and enjoy it without worrying about the seed.
The rind is also much thinner than other orange fruit. It won’t take too much time to peel before you enjoy it. The super-sweet taste also is suitable as the ingredients for dessert. Therefore, you can find it in many cuisines, especially Morocco cuisine.
Lemon (Citrus limon)
It is funny that some people see citrus and orange as two different fruit. They always think that citrus is the sour one and orange is the sweet one. Whenever we have to mention the sour one, this fruit, Lemon, always comes as the answer, right?
They are not wrong, though. Lemon is indeed sour. Therefore, people don’t eat it raw. Mostly, we use it as the ingredients for a beverage. Its sour and fresh taste is perfect for a cold beverage you can enjoy in summer.
Speaking about its health benefits, Lemon is one of the best sources of Vitamin C. In one Lemon fruit, you can get around 65% of your daily intake of Vitamin C. However, its advantages are not only about its high concentration of Vitamin C.
Lemon is one of the citrus fruits that has so many usages. You can find it as an ingredient for a beauty product or essential oil. This fruit also is one of the popular scents for aromatherapy products. Its tangy aroma creates a calming effect whenever you use it.
Kaffir Lime (Citrus hystrix)
Even though this fruit comes from China, you can find Kaffir Lime a lot in Southeast Asia. People in that area use this fruit for many purposes. However, this fruit has a bitter taste, which makes it not suitable for cooking. Therefore, people use it to make aromatherapy and treatment products.
On the other hand, the leaves of Kaffir Lime have a better taste. Its taste is like a lemon taste. Therefore, people use Kaffir Lime leaves as one of the cooking ingredients. You can find the cuisine that uses this leaf in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
This fruit comes from the combination of citrus micrantha and medica. You can find it grow a lot in Southeast Asia. The size of this fruit is small. It only has 1 to 2 inches of diameter, which make it become one of the smallest citric fruit.
Key Lime also has many seeds. However, it doesn’t taste very sour like most of the lime types. This fruit taste quite sweet. Moreover, its aroma is also strong, which makes it perfect to remove the bad odor.
You can find this fruit in several types of dessert. In some areas in Asia, people also use it as ingredients for a condiment.
Persian Lime (Citrus latifolia)
Persian Lime is one of the citrus fruits you can find in Persian dishes. This fruit was born from the hybridization of key lime and lemon. It has a less sour taste, which makes it easy to use for any dishes. Furthermore, it doesn’t have seeds at all. Thanks to this seedless property, this fruit has become one of the popular fruit for commercial usage.
Sweet Lime (Citrus limetta)
Originating from South Asia, Sweet Lime is the fruit that comes from selective breeding. Even though it has a sweet word in its name, it doesn’t mean it has a sweet taste. You can still find the hint of sweetness in it.
However, the sour taste still dominates the main taste of this citrus fruit.
The unique combination of sweet and sour here is what people like. Therefore, they use it on many desserts, especially in Pakistan and India. Mostly, you can find it in lemonade types of dessert.
Finger Lime (Citrus australasica)
You can guess where this citrus fruit comes from its scientific name. Yes, it is one of the citrus fruits originating from Australia. The shape is odd, which looks like a finger. And, this is where its name comes from.
As for the taste, you can feel a strong sour and tangy flavor from it. Because of this taste, people use this fruit as the ingredients to make pickles. In some areas, they also use it to create boutique marmalades.
The pulp has a pearl-like shape. This unique shape gives it a different appearance than other citrus fruit. It looks more like caviar. Therefore, Finger Lime also got another nickname, which is caviar lime.
Rangpur Lime (Citrus limonia)
Rangpur Lime got its name from the place where it was found. It is the Rangpur in Bangladesh. This citrus fruit was born from the combination of citron fruit and mandarin orange. Among the lime type citrus fruit, Rangpur Lime maybe is the one that looks like orange than other types. As for its taste, it has a sour and acidic lime taste with pulp similar to orange and tangerine.
Kumquat (Citrus japonica)
Kumquat is also known as the grape citrus. Its rind is very thin and edible. You can pluck it from the tree and eat it just like that. The taste is sweet with a hint of sourness. Therefore, people love to use it as one of the snack ingredients or eat it raw.
This fruit comes from South Asia and the Asia Pacific area. In Chinese, its name also means golden orange. It matches the appearance of this fruit, which has a bright orange color. The size is very small, which is also the reason why people call it grape citrus. And, this fruit is the smallest of all citrus fruits.
Clementine (Citrus clementina)
Clementine was firstly cultivated or hybridized in Algeria in the 19th century. They use sweet orange and mandarin orange as the material for cultivation. Then, this unique small seedless citrus fruit was born from it.
People love this fruit because of its sweet taste. It is even sweeter than most orange you can find on the market. The hint of sourness also gives it a richer taste. Among many citrus fruits, Clementine maybe has one of the most pleasing tastes.
Yuzu (Citrus junos)
Yuzu originally comes from Tibet and Central China. Its shape is similar to grapefruit, but it has a smaller size. The rind, however, has an even rougher texture than grapefruit. The bright yellow rind also makes it looks more like Lemon than orange.
Yuzu is quite famous in Japan and Korea. Japanese and Korean use it as one of the ingredients for their cuisine. Its sweet taste is suitable for making juice. They also use its rind as the ingredient of desserts and beverages, like Yuzu tea or vinegar.
Jamaican Tangelo (Citrus reticulata x Citrus paradise)
Jamaican Tangelo has a unique nickname that represents its appearance. People call it ugly fruit, which resembles its rind that has black stain and wrinkle. However, that is only its outer appearance. The taste, however, is the opposite of its appearance.
Once you bite its pulp, you can taste the sweet and juicy flavor of citrus fruit. You also can feel the bitterness there. That doesn’t cover the natural sweetness that it has.
This fruit comes from the crossbreeding of Tangerine and Pomelo. Maybe, this is the reason why it has such a unique appearance.
Blood Orange (Citrus sinensis)
This fruit is similar to the ordinary orange that we mentioned above. However, when you open its rind, you can see a dark red colored pulp in it. And, this is where the blood orange name comes from. The taste is not that different than orange. It is sweet and delicious.
However, the red color in it comes from the high level of anthocyanins. It is one of the types of antioxidants, which has high health benefits for you. Furthermore, it also has a high flavonoid that can treat the urinary tract infection problem.
Even though we put it in the hybrid type section, this fruit didn’t come from that. It happened naturally. In short, the fruit was born from a natural mutation. Then, people start to cultivate it to get more Blood Orange to consume.
Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
Grapefruit is another citrus fruit that has the grape characteristic. It grows in a group, which is similar to what you can see on grapes. People found out about this fruit in the 18th century in Barbados. Because of this unusual shape, this fruit even got a nickname, the Forbidden Fruit.
This fruit was born from a combination of Pomelo and sweet orange. It has a sour taste and even bitter. But, if you are looking for the sweet one, try the red grapefruits.
Meyer Lemon (Citrus meyeri)
This lemon comes from a combination of mandarin and citron fruit. As for its name, it came from the explorer who found and brought it back to the US. This fruit has a quite tall tree that can reach 10 feet tall. This fruit is not edible. Mostly, people use it as decoration for the garden.
Tangelo (Citrus tangelo)
Tangelo comes from the combination of Pomelo and tangerine. The name “Tangelo” also is the combination of those two citrus fruits. As for the taste, it has a sweet taste similar to the tangerine. You can still feel the sour and bitterness similar to what you can find on orange.
Conclusion of Citrus Fruits
Those are some of the citrus fruit types that you need to know. As you can see, there are many of them. If you plan to try each of them, please go ahead. We believe that will be a fun adventure to try.