Capitalize on Honeybells This Season Before They’re Gone!

By: The Hale Groves Team | On: | Category: Fruit Facts Healthy Eating

It’s Honeybell oranges season! Have you been having trouble finding Honeybell oranges locally? That’s not surprising…Honeybell season is sweet, but short, and this year your best bet for enjoying them is to order them in fruit gifts from Hale Groves.

If you’ve never tasted Honeybells, you may wonder why we think it’s worth it to shop for orange gifts online when you could just get other fruits locally. Read on to learn more about Honeybell tangelos and you’ll find out what makes them so special (and why you should hurry and order some while you can)!

What Makes a Honeybell a Honeybell?

Mineola Tangelos are a high-end citrus hybrid made up of a Darcy Tangerine and a Duncan Grapefruit. The fruit has a distinctive bell shape with a knob on one end, and the flesh is very juicy with a tangy-sweet flavor that’s irresistible. Unlike their parent fruits, Tangelos (which have been around since 1931, having originated in Florida), have few to no seeds.

The world “tangelo” is a portmanteau of “tangerine” and “pomelo” (the ancestor of the modern grapefruit). To be a Honeybell, a Mineola Tangelo has to have been grown in Florida (so all Honeybells are Mineola Tangelos, but not all Mineola Tangelos are Honeybells). The name “Honeybell” is inspired both by the fruit’s unique bell shape and sweet flavor.

Why is Honeybell Tangelo Season so Short?

Honeybell season is quite short – from mid-December to mid-February (if we’re lucky), with January being the peak. Honeybell trees are rather temperamental, as is the fruit itself (which tends to be more delicate than other citrus species, and thus more prone to damage when handled). Honeybell orange trees are not usually very cold-hardy, and thus have a limited growing range (in turn limiting the size of the crop).

If you do get your hands (and taste buds!) on Honeybells, you’ll find it’s well worth it: with their sweet-as-honey taste (brightened by a touch of tanginess), you’ll join the rest of us at Hale Groves in wishing they were available all year round!

How to Use Honeybells

With their easy-to-peel skins and juicy texture, Florida Honeybell oranges are the perfect take-along fruit, ideal for lunchboxes. Their size (about as big around as a human fist) makes them easy to carry along with you. And while their sweet flavor just might fool you into thinking you’re having dessert, they’re also (like all citrus fruit) supremely good for you.

With their delicious, more-orange-than-orange flavor, Honeybells are good for more than snacking. Try them in any recipe that calls for citrus juice or segments and see how it brightens them up! Honeybells are wonderful in sorbets, salads, marmalades or as a topping for fruit tarts. Their juice is also fabulous for fancy brunches and in cocktails.

However you choose to use them, make sure you don’t miss Honeybells this season, because once they’re gone, they’re gone – and they won’t be back until next year!

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