(Also read: Uses of Lemon or Lime: What's the Difference?)
1. Meyer Lemon
Native to China, this citrusy delight is believed to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or orange. These were introduced to the United States in 1908. "Sweet and juicy, Meyer lemons are prized by chefs and loved by home cooks. Bright yellow in color, they're plumper and less acidic than regular lemons, with thinner peels and a more floral scent," shares Martha Stewart on her website, who - by the way - simply loves cooking with these delightful pockets of zing.
Best relished as a fruit or in salads, Mandarins look smaller and slightly dwarfish when compared to oranges. China is the largest producer of mandarin followed by Spain, Brazil and Japan. The fruit assumes distinct significance during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
3. Blood Orange
A treat for your eyes and your taste buds! These are so visually appealing that just a small slice of the exquisite fruit jazzes up even the most mundane looking preparation. The crimson coloured flesh adds drama to any delicacy and sits firm on the palate as well. Its distinct colour comes with the presence of a certain colour-rendering antioxidant called anthocyanins. These are dearly loved by chefs from all over due to its special raspberry-like notes along with the usual citrusy zing.
(Also read: Don't Throw Away Those Lemon Peels Yet: Exciting Ways to Add Them in Your Meals)
This one is a hybrid of sweet orange and the mandarin. These are quite similar to tangerines and are often confused with mandarins as well. While mandarins are native to China and tangerines are believed to have reached Europe from North Africa; Clementines were first cultivated in America.
5. Buddha's Hand
Also known as the fingered citron, Buddha's Hand gets its name owing to its similarity to a human hand. The fruit is believed to have originated in parts of India or China. The fruit is extremely fragrant and is therefore, used for perfuming purposes. The fruit has great religious significance in Buddhist, Chinese and Korean culture. In most cases, the fruit contains no juice or pulp. However, it is used as a flavouring agent in savory dishes, beverages and desserts.
6. Kaffir Lime
Give your regular lime a rest and try this pan-Asian favourite. Kaffir lime is not new to food enthusiasts. However, its presence in an Indian kitchen has not been so common. Kaffir lime comes with a distinct aroma and flavour that renders traditional lime-based dishes or beverages a fresh character. It is easily cultivated and available in tropical regions of Asia such as countries like Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh. Apart from trying it in savoury dishes and salads, you can also try creating a range of summer drinks and dunk a kaffir lime in it for extra punch.
Also known as Jabong in Hawaii and Jambura in Bengali, pomelo looks like a giant grapefruit and is found in South and South-East Asia. Pomela is one of the biggest in size in the citrus family and can go up to 10-30 cms in diameter.
(Also read: 5 Exciting Ways to Cook with Oranges)
A single fruit can weigh up to 2-3 kilograms. Pomelo comes with a distinct sweetness which is often devoid of the usual tartness of the other citrus fruits. The fruit can be eaten raw or included salads.
Come summers and you know it is time to immerse yourself in the world of citrus flavours! The lime and the lemony notes team with the orangy tang to drive away all our summer woes. You may have not known this before, but there exists a different world of citrus fruits that can be explored. Some of us may have started stocking up on kinnows, a type of orange found in abundance during the summer season. This season, we're busy exploring the distant cousins of our lemons and oranges. While most of them are enthusiastically relished in different parts of the world, some are them are exotic and unheard of. Take a look!