Friday, January 4, 2019

Top 8 Reasons to Buy Honeybells

There are certain things in life that are worth waiting for. Florida Honeybells, with their short but very delicious season, are definitely one of those things.

Never had a Honeybell? These unique citrus fruit are more than a little different from the typical oranges and tangerines most of us are familiar with.

What is a Honeybell?

To start with, these aren’t oranges at all. The Honeybell is actually a tangelo—a word that combines “tangerine” and “pommelo.”

What’s a pommelo, you ask? The pommelo was basically the original grapefruit. The grapefruit variety used to create the Honeybell was the White Duncan. This fruit has gone out of favor for being seedy, but was well known for its incredible favor.

What Honeybells Look Like

When the Duncan was crossed with a tangerine by a savvy citrus grower, the result was the Honeybell—a distinctive, bright orange, super sweet and juicy fruit with an unusual “bell” at one end. This fruit hit the market in the 1930s, and it’s been popular, yet rather hard to come by, ever since.

Why They’re So Hard to Find

You see, Honeybells have a very short season, and they’re generally only grown in a small area of Florida. Supply is small, and they often can’t be found in stores because they get bought up by special companies like ours. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. (Recently, a few California growers have also started growing Honeybells. We know we’re biased, but we don’t feel the CA climate is the best for this variety; read reviews yourself and draw your own conclusions.)

That’s the background of this delicious fruit—a favorite of gourmets, Florida natives, citrus growers, and people who just love good fruit for many years. Not yet convinced that you ought to try these sweet juicy, delectable treats? We’ve got 8 great ones below.

1. They’re beautiful

If you haven’t ever seen a Honeybell in person, you may not realize how gorgeous they are! These are some of our most giftable fruit--not just because of their delicious taste, but due to their appearance. Their color isn’t just orange…it’s a deep, almost fiery red-orange. And since we hand clip each one from the tree to keep the “bell” intact, they’ve been treated with a lot of gentleness. 

2. They’re unusual

If the classic “oranges and grapefruit” basket isn’t exciting you as much anymore, then Honeybells are the way to go. With their unusual appearance and out of this world flavor, there’s really not much typical about them.

3. They’re “classic Florida”

Are you a Floridian who wants to send a taste of the sunshine state to some out-of-staters? Want to rub it in about how beautiful it is here in January, while your friends and relatives are digging their cars out of the snow and cursing? (Just kidding.) Honeybells are the perfect taste of the real Florida.

4. They’re fun to cook with

Just like our other citrus, Honeybells are fun to cook with and make an especially great addition to green salads and fruit salads. Their abundant juice also means they can be used in marinades and dessert recipes. (Check out our Pinterest page for tons of recipes using Honeybells and other Florida citrus.)

5. They make wonderful juice

Most of us probably haven’t tried Honeybell juice, in part because it might seem like a sin to juice these fruits when they’re so delicious to eat out of hand. But if you can stand to give up a few to the juicer, you’ll find that the flavor of Honeybell juice is absolutely outstanding.

6. They’re great for you

Just like all the citrus we sell, Florida Honeybells are incredibly healthy for you, as well as being delicious. Citrus is high in vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and potassium, supporting the immune system and heart and digestive health. People who take medications known to interact with grapefruit will be happy to hear that even though Honeybells are a tangerine-grapefruit cross, they do not contain the substance that causes medication interactions.

7. They’re easy to peel

Honeybells are a “zipper skin” variety of citrus, meaning that the skin comes right off in a jiffy, just as though it had a little zipper you could unzip. Though I don’t mind the occasional bit of work to peel citrus, I have to admit that an easy-peeling fruit is a pleasure.

8. They just might be the most delicious citrus you’ve ever tasted

Ok, this is subjective. Some of us are “grapefruit people” and can’t get enough of the sweet-tart, luscious Ruby Red. Others prefer the classically rounded, deep flavor of a Temple. And many of us love the little-known Page orange (sadly, we’re still bringing our Page groves back to life here after Hurricane Irma). But many citrus lovers do think the Honeybell is the absolute best-tasting citrus there is. Can you deny yourself the chance to try one? We didn’t think so. But remember, the season (in January) is VERY short.

Buy Florida Honeybells

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