Tuesday, March 1, 2011

IN SEASON - Honey Bells

Admittedly I am a bit late with this post; but you can always plan for next year :)

There are a plethora of things Florida can be envied for: Disney World, palm trees, white sands, The Restaurant NAOE  and mojitos (okay..maybe that last one was a stretch).  In late January, the jealousy of the sunny state reached a high with the season of the HoneyBell.

What is a HoneyBell you ask?  It is quite possibly the sweetest citrus on the planet.  From first glance, you would think it was an orange.  To the contrary, this "bell-shaped" citrus fruit is a hybrid of the Dancy Tangerine and Duncan Grapefruit.  It bursts with mouthfuls of juice as sweet as "honey".

The kicker is the coveted citrus is only available for a few precious weeks in late January and early February.  So, you have missed out on this season but you have plenty of time to salivate and plan for next year.

When my package arrived, I had the same thrill of a Christmas gift that arrived late in the mail. "Florida Citrus.. A Gift of Sunshine"!!  The package alone conjures up images of the aromatic groves down south.

These "oranges" are no joking matter.  Anytime you receive instructions on how to view a fruit, you know it is special.  Armed with a bib, instruction manual and the freshest oranges you have ever seen, you have everything you need to feast on segments and pulp for days.

To really get to the crux of the enjoyment, I suggest squeezing for a fresh glass of juice.  Team it up with grapefruit for a citrus explosion of flavors.

Be sure to save the rind and boil in water for a cleverly-made tea with additional spices.


Skin from (2) Honey Bell Oranges

2 cups of water

3 cinnamon sticks

A pinch of whole cloves

3 mint leaves

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Sweeten with honey and enjoy!

Bon Apetite!
Bon Apetite!

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