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Sunkist Citrus Challenge: The Juicy Facts


January 21, 2005

What is the Sunkist Citrus Challenge?

The Sunkist Citrus Challenge is a good old-fashioned cooking competition with a twist. At-home chefs and culinary lovers around the country are invited to enter their juiciest recipes featuring one or more of the 20+ popular Sunkist citrus varieties typically available at their local grocery bins during the peak of the season. Consumers are invited to compete in any of the three main categories, including: 1) Quick & Easy, 2) Entrée, and 3) Citrus Célébré - - a single dish that incorporates a medley of multiple kinds of citrus.

Why is Sunkist sponsoring this challenge?

Though best known for being a refreshing, healthy snack all by itself, Sunkist whole fruit is making a big splash across the menu these days. Chefs everywhere are discovering how delicious citrus varieties can be used, add zest to traditional favorites, enhance recipes’ nutrition value and add excitement to their meal selections.

The Sunkist Citrus Challenge is creating a buzz for the versatility of citrus by encouraging cooking fans to liven up some of their favorite dishes by adding fresh citrus to their list of core ingredients. And, with such a wide selection of flavors to choose from, tangy treats and fruity fares are sure to begin sprouting up in homes everywhere. Some of the most popular citrus options to try in your culinary endeavors include:

o Valencia Orange: Known for their perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors, Valencia’s are the king of juice oranges. Bold and refreshing, Valencia’s have a fruity zing tempered with just the right amount of bitter sweetness.

o Navel Orange: Navel oranges, with their small navel formation on the blossom end, are easy to peel and are virtually seedless. They have a sweet floral aroma. Like an orange vanilla Popsicle, the flavor is refreshingly tart with a rich vanilla finish.

o Lemons: With their clean floral smell and distinctly tangy flavor, Lemons are one of the most universally loved fruits. Lemons compliment both sweet and savory foods. They also cleanse the palate between courses preparing the taste buds for the next flavor.

o Grapefruit: Grapefruit with its distinctive tart flavor has a satisfying sweet aftertaste. The interior flesh varies in color from the traditional white Marsh variety, to the champagne blush of the Ruby and deep red tones of the Star Ruby and Rio.

o Pummelo: Pummelos, the largest of all citrus fruit, have thick dark green peel early in the season that fades to yellow as the season progresses. Their zesty smell is slightly tropical with a hint of jasmine and lime. Pummelos are sweeter than Grapefruit and their large pink juice sacs have a candied almond aftertaste.

o Satsuma Mandarin: Satsuma Mandarins have a sweet honeysuckle aroma. Their flavor is warm and tropical. Varying in shape from flat to necked, they peel and segment easily and have few if any seeds.

o Minneola Tangelo: Minneolas are easily identified by the knob-like formation at the stem end. This fruit tends to grow large in size and will display a deep red-orange exterior color. They have a delicious tart-sweet flavor. Minneolas have a smooth to slightly pebbled texture, peel very easily, and have few if any seeds.

o Moro Orange: Moro oranges generally have a bright red to deep maroon interior color and an orange exterior overlaid with a red blush. They have a distinctive flavor described as a rich orange taste with overtones of raspberries. They tend to be small in size, fairly easy to peel and have few if any seeds. The "Moro" is by far the most popular blood orange. Moro's have excellent color and thrive in California's sunny interior valleys.

Who is eligible to enter the Sunkist Citrus Challenge?

The Sunkist Citrus Challenge is open to all non-professional chefs (those who do not earn a living from cooking and catering services) and culinary enthusiasts throughout the United States that are interested in ad

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