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Author Topic: bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits  (Read 357 times)

SoCal2warm

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bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits
« on: November 04, 2020, 02:04:02 AM »
These are the "fruits" of my expedition to Portland...


The largest one, more orange and to the left, is a citrumelo (probable variety 'Swingle').
The two smaller ones in the front are Poncirus trifoliata, but apparently a special variety that can be eaten and does not have the bad poncirus taste inside.
The two smaller yellow ones in the back are Ichang papeda.
The medium sized one on the right is a Kabosu.

These were all picked today (November 3) from trees growing outside and unprotected.

The poncirus fruits are surprisingly fragrant. The smell is very hard to accurately describe, but I am really going to try and be precise. It smells like raw fresh quince fruit, maybe almost something like peach and ripe apricot, definitely just a little bit of guava, cheap laundry fragrance or something like mock orange (Pittosporum tobira), a little bit of the rubbery smell of tulips and floral lily, alcohol baby wipes (phenethyl alcohol), and somewhat skunky lemon.
Something about them almost reminds me of orris butter or an old fashioned perfume satchet.

The Ichang papeda fruits are moderately fragrant, in the wet air. They smell resinous woody (in the best way possible), mixed with fresh lemon. Also there is something very slightly deep and pungent to them, but that part is not very noticeable without cutting into it.

The surface of the Kabosu smells like Satsuma mandarin, the strong deep smell of a very aromatic Satsuma mandarin, mixed with a little Yuzu, and some aromatic Valencia orange. It smells wonderful. (I think this might even contend for my favorite variety of citrus smell)

The Citrumelo is nothing remarkable.

Note the descriptions of all these fruits are before cutting them or tasting them.

It's an eclectic little assortment of cold hardy citrus fruits.

SoCal2warm

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Re: bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2020, 02:30:45 AM »
The scent of the citrumelo is weak. It's very hard to give my interpretation of it.
I can definitely perceive some "green apple" scent to it (Alpha-damascenone) which is more like an over-ripe bruised fruity green apple type of smell.

In fact, come to think of it, this is probably also present in the smell of the Poncirus trifoliata fruits, but it is overriden by the "quince" and other components of the smell, so does not stand out.

(I'm of course not saying the smell of the citrumelo is green apple, but this is the strongest single component I can pick out)

I apologize if I'm getting too technical or focusing on trivial details here. I do like to try to be as precise as possible, since odor is an important part of the experience.

Pandan

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Re: bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2020, 10:25:06 AM »
I appreciate the infomation especially the 'over technical' stuff!

I am getting into citrus for the first time this year so having someone both showcase and review the different varieties is extremely helpful.

SoCal2warm

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Re: bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2020, 03:22:37 AM »
Here's the Citrumelo (presumed variety Swingle) cut up


It looks good. It only had one seed inside. But it had this terrible terrible taste inside I do not even know how to describe. A little bit of kerosene, yes, but something else that is absolutely intense and stomach-churning like Poncirus trifoliata. Maybe a tiny bit bitter, yes, but it was really not so much bitter, it was something else. (Maybe I could almost describe it like eating scented soap?)
It seemed very acidic though, maybe that was part of it.
I absolutely cannot eat this. Maybe it's barely tolerable, though difficult, if I cut the slice thin enough.

Besides that it seemed very similar to a navel orange, although with less flavor. The fruit is very juicy though, just going by the looks it seems like it would have all the hallmarks of a great fruit.

Dunstan citrumelo is supposed to be much better, but unfortunately I've never tasted the fruits to be able to compare. (Although I am growing one)

The inside smells just like a regular navel orange, maybe almost a slight hint of cucumber.

I'm really struggling to try to describe the bad flavor. Maybe it is like canned mandarin oranges that have been left in the can too long and have passed their expiration date. There's a putrid and metallic flavor. That's the best I can describe it.
If you take more than a very tiny bite, the instinct is too immediately spit it out.


Now for the Poncirus fruits - the special ones that are supposed to be edible, or at least have much less of the characteristic bad poncirus flavor to them. They don't look very promising.



I tasted a little slice. Well, they are very much noticeably less worse than the citrumelo. In comparison, they are still very acidic and I would say have about the same level of kerosene as the citrumelo, but they do not really have the offputting putrid quality to them. I would say the edibility level is between "not too horrible" and "tolerable". The flavor is much more like pine, and barely like orange.

The fact that this special cultivar of pure Poncirus trifoliata could be noticeably more palatable than another Poncirus hybrid is notable.

I hesitate to use the word "edible" in this situation, but I would say they are almost very close to being tolerably semi-edible in a survival situation, unlike that citrumelo.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 05:47:18 PM by SoCal2warm »

SoCal2warm

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Re: bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2020, 05:38:25 PM »
I can give a review of the Kabosu now


Cutting into it, this smells like the best very high quality Meyer lemon (and I'm not much of a fan of Meyer lemons) mixed with some very aromatic Satsuma smell. There might also be a tiny hint of Yuzu aroma, barely perceptible.
The inside is a little bit more fragrant than a lemon, has a little bit of Yuzu smell.

Eating it, it tastes like a lemon. Not bad at all, but it doesn't have the most flavor, and it's just a little dry, like Yuzu. But it is still fairly juicy.
The flavor is like lemon, maybe not the best quality lemon but not that bad, kind of watery, mixed with a little bit of tangerine and Satsuma flavor.

I do not see any seeds inside.

I think Kabosu is supposed to be picked green in Japan, so these may have been considered too over-ripe. Although they tasted like they might be underripe to me. In this cool climate (Pacific Northwest), they probably wouldn't be the most sweet.

The peel was about as edible as a normal lemon, maybe just a little bit more. One probably could use the peel in cooking, although it might not be the most ideal.
The peel reminds me a lot of the flavor of Satsuma peels, although maybe just a little bit softer like Yuzu.
The white pith appears to be edible, only the tiniest bit of bitterness, not that much inferior to the pith of citron.

The fruit quality inside is better than Yuzu, but I suspect the peel is still very important for the flavor, if you were making a sauce.

One last thing, I do want to emphasize that this review may not be representative of what Kabosu is really like, but rather a single account of Kabosu grown in the far north in the Pacific Northwest climate.

SoCal2warm

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Re: bounty of rare cold hardy citrus fruits
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2020, 06:28:11 PM »
I think the peel is where most of the flavor of Kabosu is.
The peel is less edible than that of Yuzu, somewhere between Yuzu and Satsuma mandarin, but I guess it cannot be too bad since I am finding myself eating the peels. The flavor of the peels is mostly like somewhere in between the peels of Satsuma mandarin and lime. Maybe just a little bit of Ichang papeda / Yuzu flavor, but the orange part of the flavor of Yuzu is not really there.
I think the peels of Kabosu could definitely be candied to be made into a snack.

 

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