See also: Lemons - Limes - Oranges
The United States had 1,005,806 acres of land devoted to Citrus Fruit production in 2007. Florida had 654,747 acres of citrus trees and California had 303,101 acres.
Per capita consumption of Citrus Fruits in the U.S. was 21.7 pounds in 2005, down from 23.5 pounds in 2000.
Citrus fruits are native to Southeast Asia where they have been cultivated for over 4,000 years. Some of the oldest Oriental literature contains references to citrus fruits.
Oranges do not ripen after they are picked, but lemons do.
Here are some suggestions from the Florida Citrus Cookbook
(1985 Florida Dept of Citrus, Marmac Publishing Co):
- For a great natural facial, boil the peels of an orange and grapefruit with 2 cups of non-carbonated mineral water. Strain the liquid into a bottle and apply to face twice daily. Keep refrigerated.
- For a refreshing skin bracer, blend the juice of half a grapefruit with warm water. Splash it on a just washed face to tighten pores.
- For rough, red elbows, dip and rub elbows into grapefruit halves. This will soften elbows in only a few days.
- For softer cuticles and whiter nails, mix 3 cups of warm water with the juice of half a grapefruit. Soak fingers for 5 minutes. Repeat weekly.
Citrus pith is the major source for commercial pectin manufacture. Pectin is what thickens fruit jellies etc. Pectin has also been used in medicine in the treatment of intestinal disorders, as an antihemorrhagic, as a plasma extender, and for other purposes.
Zest is the colored outermost skin layer of citrus fruits. Zest is highly perfumed and is rich in flavonoids, bioflavonoids, and limonoids. Zest can be used to flavor sweet and savory dishes, or candied, for pastry use. Be sure not to get any of the white pith when zesting citrus, as the white pith is bitter.