Thursday, January 22, 2009

Honeybell...a new generation of fruit

Making a debut in the fruit arena is a new hybrid...the HONEYBELL!

My mother in law decided to send me a case of “honeybells” for our anniversary....Opening the cardboard box was the easy part. There beneath the deep green wax paper lay 24 of the most perfectly bright orange honeybells I had seen. I did not want to disturb their comfortable abode. But I could not resist as any fruit is a weakness of mine, especially any fruit of the citrus or orange-yellow variety. 

Convinced that they were oranges I felt for one that was just right and started to peel it, but it resisted like an angry lover. The skin was smooth to touch and had no rough edges. It fit in my hand like a baseball would fit into a weathered glove. It was heavier than a regular orange and had a unique bell shape on the top. It looked plump and ready to eat. It did not have a very citrusy smell but had a quiet reassurance that said “open me up and I wont disappoint”. 

Seeing its resistance to peeling, I quickly read the card that it came with and was pleasantly surprised to learn that they were meant to be juiced. The card made promises of it being one of the sweetest and juiciest of citrus fruits. The card also said that the HoneyBells were an extraordinary hybrid of the Dancy tangerine and the Duncan grapefruit.  Having never tasted a sweet combination of fruit like that I ran excitedly to my drawer to get my hand juicer and cutting board. Down went the knife right in the middle of the honeybell giving way to an attractive and generous interior. The sections looked deep orange, succulent and ready to be juiced. Placing my juicer above a glass I twisted the half honeybell deliberately. The juice flowed down into the glass as if I was pouring it from a can.  This little half honeybell worked until it was limp in my hand and all the delicious juice was in my glass. I could not wait to take a sip but I patiently waited to juice the other half. After a quick and easy squeeze, I looked at my glass in much juice from this one honebell !!! 

I could not wait any longer, to delve into the  incredible medley of flavors as promised by the card – tangerine and grape fruit One sip and I was in heaven. The cold crisp flavor of the tangerines was layered with a slight lemony flavor of the grapefruit. Unlike a regular orange juice it had a delicate flavor yet was robust and filling. It held its sophistication of being a honeybell. Ok I am glad there are 23 honeybells still in the case! 

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