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Try not to laugh at me: when are citrus fruits in season?

I've just realised I have no idea. I know you always get oranges and things at christmas, but is that an indulgence? When is the best time to buy, say, spanish oranges and lemons?

Seville Oranges are in season in January. Don't know about ordinary ones.

My orange tree is just coming into blossom now, but it may be a little confused living in Wales!

We went to Malta once in mid-February and the lemon trees were absolutely laden with fruit.

(From keeping my own citrus plants, I do see that they keep the seemingly-ripe fruit on the tree for a long time - months even - so the period in season is probably longer than it is for, say, stone fruit.

I was on holiday in Spain a few years ago - in the February half-term - and the harvest seemed to be in full swing, people were giving away oranges and lemons in baskets at the roadside.

In a previous life I went to Greece in August and picked fab lemons off the trees.

Citrus need a drop in temperatures to trigger their colour change, so if you want yellow lemons and orange oranges they will change colour in winter time, so Jan/Feb sounds about right for the start of European fruits. However, from growing them myself they seem to last for months on the tree so the harvest could go on for a good few months so I don't know when they're out of season.

I think we have them at Christmas because they are harvested during winter. My guess is that late spring to mid-summer here would be when they aren't in season in countries where they're traditionally grown. But yes the season does seem to be longer.

I seem to remember seeing lemons on trees in Sicily in autumn but not earlier in summer.

So I don't need to feel too guilty for buying them any time from autumn to spring, probably. Was just wondering why I always make marmalade in January, and now I know!

By far the best time to buy citrus fruit is Autumn/Winter - most citrus have all three stages of growth on at any one time i.e. flower, next years fruit and this years fruit. There is a huge difference in quality and taste as we have found out since living here. There is nothing like a naturally ripened orange that has not been sprayed with dye or waxes. The sweetness is second to none.

On the other hand, limes seem to be in season around now, i.e. August. Probably imported from a long way away, but this is when they're cheapest.
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