Too Much Citrus?

February 2, 2012

Walk around any local farmers markets or grocery stores now and you quickly realize we are in the height of citrus season. Blood or Cara Cara oranges, mandarins, tangerines, citron, Meyer lemons, and limes are all piled high. We are blessed and spoiled with this bounty. But as I say pretty frequently someone has to live here. It might as well be us.

The first California citrus trees were planted in The Missions in the mid 1830’s. Soon thereafter they were introduced throughout the state. Once the transcontinental railroad was built in the late 1870’s, our citrus was shipped to the east coast and by the 1890’s California’s bounty was being enjoyed in Europe.

For many in the Bay Area this yearly bonanza is also recognized by simply looking out their front or back window. Countless homes have a citrus tree decorating their yards. These trees produce an abundance of fruit and it can be difficult to use it all. There’s only so much juice you can squeeze, marmalade you can preserve, or rind you can zest. Your neighbors, although appreciative, will only take so much. I speak from experience as I now have thirty five pounds of Meyer Lemons in my fridge impatiently waiting to be turned into something.

Waterbar would like to help you unload your personal harvest. For each 10 pounds of Meyer lemons, Kumquats, limes, oranges or any other variety of citrus you have an abundance of, we will trade you a half dozen of Chef’s choice oysters or a dessert of your choice. Haul 30 pounds to us and we will name the dish we use your fruit in after you for a day and send you a copy of the menu. Also please email us a picture of you and your tree so we can verify you didn’t pick the fruit up at Whole Foods or the Farmer’s Market.  Email me at emily@emilyluchetti.com or our purchasing agent, Eric Hyman, at eric@waterbarsf.com.

Note: For an exceptionally informative book about citrus and its considerable number of varieties, check out Allen Susser’s The Great Citrus Book (Ten Speed Press).

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