In the slog of winter, citrus provides an electric respite. Behind a thick peel, sharp and vibrant wedges are seasonal starbursts. I, for one, never pause to order an orange from an outdoor fruit vendor, its insides made cold and unexpectedly refreshing by icebox temperatures. I always have spare oranges for snacking and lemons/limes for squeezing into salad dressings or bringing light to avocados in my kitchen. They roll around my crisper drawer or across my countertop, and sometimes get lost behind the jars at the top of my fridge. I forget about them and, as if in response to my negligence, they spite me by shriveling up.
A withered lemon is not only quite sad to behold, but pretty much useless. So imagine my delight when I happened upon this hack to keep citrus fresher, for longer. Like any good hack it’s simple, efficient, and proven to work. The hack comes from the folks at Food.com, now Genius Kitchen.
by Annie Crabill
by Leslie Stephens
As you could probably guess, keeping citrus at its peak is all about moisture. So how do you keep that moisture inside the porous fruit before it seeps into the air? To prevent this process, citrus should be kept in an environment with high humidity. Keep citrus in a bowl of water in your fridge, sayeth the hack. This means of storage, they claim, can keep your fruits feeling—and tasting—fresh for up to three months.
This isn’t the only citrus-preserving recommendation the internet has got up its sleeve, however. Other resources suggest keeping your fruits in the fridge in tightly sealed Ziploc bags. This creates a small scale humid environment and prevents that lemon from losing too much liquid.
So there you have it, two methods to make that lemon, orange, grapefruit, last a lot longer. In a season so bitterly cold, don’t let your citrus go the way of our chapped lips (aka, keep them plump and moisturized).
How do you store your citrus? Let us know your tricks in the comments below.