Since the new year we’ve been crazy about citrus throughout the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses. There are still over 20 varieties of citrus on the shelves at the Markets and some great surprises yet to come, but the season will start to wind down as we head into March. One of the most exciting parts of the California Citrus Experience celebration at Bi-Rite is that it comes to an end with one of the best-tasting varieties of the entire season: the Pixie Tangerine, a small, seedless tangerine with wonderful juice and super sweet flavor!
Led by Jim Churchill “The Tangerine Man,” a group of dedicated small farmers work collaboratively to get these sugar bombs to markets throughout California. Located in the mountains of Ojai, California, these 40 farms (some as small as just a handful of trees) harvest their fruit when it’s at peak flavor. We’ve been lucky enough to build a solid, farm-direct relationship with Churchill Orchard that allows us to get freshly-picked organic Pixies delivered straight to the markets. You would think that a piece of fruit that tastes so good would be sold all over the place, but this variety has its limitations, which turns off a lot of commercial growers. The trees take at least 4 years to produce fruit after planting, and closer to 8 years before they produce really healthy crops. Plus the Pixie is an “alternating bearing” crop, which means it has a heavy harvest one year and a light harvest the next. But the harvest is just starting this year, so we’ll have fruit in both Markets through March!
The rest of the Family of Businesses have been loving the California Citrus Experience, too. From baked goods, to ice cream, to cocktails recipes, we’ve had a blast bringing you new and exciting ways to look at this quintessential California crop. Bi-Rite Catering has introduced a new, beautiful Citrus Sunrise platter as part of their Peak of Season Menu for your breakfast meetings and brunches. With an eye-catching spread of four types of citrus — Navel Orange, Cara Cara Orange, Blood Orange, and Mandarins — sliced perfectly for your guests, it is pure, mouthwatering Vitamin C!
Bi-Rite Creamery has been in on the Citrus fun since day one, and now that the season is winding down we want to make sure you get your fill of the creamy, tart, wonderful Tangerine Dream Ice Cream before the last of it is scooped. Our Vanilla Ice Cream with a fresh Tangerine Swirl, it’s fresh and bright and rich at the same time. Plus! We’ve got one last citrusy surprise for you on Friday, March 4th, when we introduce a new flavor for the month. Head to the Creamery’s Twitter feed to discover our #NewFlavorFriday, where we’ll be revealing a new seasonal flavor on the first Friday of each month! Stop by the Markets and Creamery, or order from our online Market for convenient delivery to make the California Citrus Experience your own!