Winter is when most citrus fruits are at their sweetest and juiciest. And they aren't alone. Look for these winter fruits at farmers markets and in produce departments for the best flavor and greatest value this winter. Specific crops and harvest dates will depend on your region's climate. This may be obvious to many readers, but know that most of these are only available locally in warm and temperate regions.
Blood Oranges show up with all their sweet, complex flavor and brilliant color every winter. Look for fruits that feel heavy for their size and know that the intensity of the red color inside varies tremendously depending on the variety, growing season, and more.
Clementines are small, sweet oranges available from December through the most of the winter season.
Grapefruit from California, Texas, Florida, and Arizona comes into season in January and stays sweet and juicy into early summer.
Kiwis grow on vines. They tend to be happy wherever wine grapes are happy. Kiwis are harvested in late winter through spring in warmer and temperate areas. Look for a heavy feel and fuzzy brown skins with as few blemishes as you can find—the peels are thin and the fruit is easily damaged.
Kumquats are small, bite-size citrus fruits with edible peels; they come into season towards the end of winter and stay available through spring. Store them on the counter for easy snacking or add them to salads for a burst of tart sweetness. Keep their flavor around with a bottle of Kumquat Vodka or a jar of Honey Preserved Kumquats.
Lemons tend to be at their best and juicy best in winter and spring. Like other citrus fruits, they don't like the cold, so store them at cool room temperature rather than the fridge.
Mandarins are sweet and juicy in winter. As with all citrus fruits, choose mandarins that feel heavy for their size for the juiciest specimens.
Meyer Lemons are more seasonal than the ubiquitous Lisbon and Eureka lemons, with the limited commercial harvest running from December or January into May. They have very thin skins, making them difficult to transport and store, and are usually priced accordingly.
Oranges add sunny brightness to winter eating. If you find a good deal on big bags, make yourself some fresh-squeezed orange juice or buckle down and can a batch of Orange Marmalade.
Pears have a season that runs from mid-summer well into winter, depending on the variety and the region.
Persimmons are available for a short window in the fall and early winter. When they're available, look for bright, heavy-feeling fruits.
Pommelos look like giant grapefruits. They have extremely thick peels covering their sweet grapefruit-like yellow citrus fruit interior that can be so pale it's almost white.
Satsumas have loose skins for easy peeling and a super-sweet tangerine flavor for irresistible eating. Look for them starting in November and into January.
Tangerines of all sorts are in season at some point over the winter from November through March. Look for different varieties—including tiny and sweet Pixies—as the season goes along.