Pomegranates are widely available now, and whichever method you choose to remove this ruby red fruit from the outer shell will provide you with an exotic treat. This is a fruit really worthy of royalty and the next time you buy a pomegranate take note of the 'crown' on the top. In fact, they have been a part of royalty from Tutankhamun to King Henry IV of France! Even if you just decide to sprinkle on the top of a salad, these red fruit 'arils' will add a wonderful flavour to many dishes.
One other, somewhat overlooked fruit, is the Quince. One of the great traditional uses is by making a quince jam, but despite what many will tell you they can also be eaten raw. The best advice when consuming straight from the garden is to bash them up a little, which will soften the fruit inside. One perfect recipe to try is by making a Quince Tart.
It is also a great time to find fresh mangoes in the shops. Take advantage of this gastronomic opportunity or you will regret it! Mangoes, quite honestly, are great however you like to eat them. At breakfast, slice them up fresh and add them to granola, nuts and yoghurt. They also work with so many savoury dishes, including sticky rice and coconut flavours!
Oranges needn't be overlooked this January either, but make sure you buy a variety of them. There are blood oranges, mandarins and bergamot varieties to taste and enjoy! Yes, these can be the crowning glory of a fruit salad, but why not bake with the zest too? Or, if you are looking for a dramatic-looking salad combine it with beetroot and olives.
Lemons of all varieties are also plentiful, and it's again worthwhile trying different variants like Meyer Lemons, that are a hybrid of mandarin oranges and a regular lemon.
Keep an eye out for the Meyer Lemon, and they are recognisable by their smaller size and are often rounder than the standard lemon. They are also a deeper shade of yellow and can even sometimes appear slightly orange in colour. These were first introduced to the United States by their namesake Frank Meyer. Have a go at using these in a Lemon Focaccia or in a classic Lemon Tart. You will not be disappointed! If you want to indulge your family never forget the enduring appeal of a fine Lemon meringue to satisfy after something savoury!
Another go-to citrus fruit is the beautiful Lime and should be seen as much more than just a part of a classic Margarita cocktail or in a punchy sip of Mojito! Limes can really make or break the flavours in many dishes and Mexican food wouldn't be the same without them. This zesty fruit is on every decent bar table in Mexico City for a very good reason!