Good news for fruit lovers after the Thanks­giv­ing feast. Apples and cit­rus fruits begin to dom­i­nate pro­duce stands and farmer’s mar­kets.

No need for unwar­ranted com­par­isons. Both fruit fam­i­lies con­tribute to bev­er­ages, snacks or meals this time of year.

Ver­sa­tile and dis­tinc­tive, each cat­e­gory seems to have end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties as new vari­eties become avail­able through­out the sea­son.

Ambrosia, Hon­ey­crisp, Opal or Sweet Tango apples remind us that there is a favored choice for every taste pro­file. Sweet and crisp, choose the one that fits out of hand or bak­ing needs.

Tiny Lady apples and other minia­ture vari­eties range from bril­liant red to golden yel­low with red blush. They run from sweet to tart in taste and are good for hand-​eating or cook­ing. They make for par­tic­u­larly good gar­nishes and fresh décor ingre­di­ents dur­ing win­ter months and upcom­ing hol­i­day celebrations.

Hol­i­day décor ben­e­fits from cut gar­land greens and col­or­ful whole apples and cit­rus fruits. Gather oak balls, euca­lyp­tus seeds and other nat­ural ele­ments to fill table­tops and man­tels. The orna­men­tal aspects of these globe shaped appoint­ments lends to an organic visual appeal.

Just as Cal­i­for­nia navel oranges surge in vol­ume and avail­abil­ity, so too, do many other win­ter cit­rus items. Man­darins, tan­ger­ines, Cara cara and blood oranges and pum­me­los get going.

Hot teas and tod­dies get a lift from cit­rus slices.

The rind and zest impart great cit­rus fla­vor to but­ters, oils, salts, mari­nades and rubs

Con­sider using organ­i­cally grown oranges and oth­ers when explic­itly look­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on the outer peels.

The white pith and peels can be saved in the fridge until enough are assem­bled to cre­ate can­died, dried or jel­lied con­coc­tions.

Rede­fine win­ter sal­ads with a punch of apple or cit­rus. Leave the toma­toes off the plate and arrange Granny Smith slices along but­ter leaf let­tuce and pecans or wal­nuts. Stronger soft cheeses round out the plate with a Roque­fort or bal­samic dress­ing.

Cit­rus sal­ads fea­ture fen­nel, jicama or Cal­i­for­nia endive to hold down the plate. Top with grape­fruit or Sat­suma seg­ments. Pis­ta­chios or sun­flower seeds top off the crunch desire.

Chilly win­ter weather strings together days of fog, rain and snow. Break the spell with a burst of cit­rus or apple infused with cloves, cin­na­mon sticks or star anise. Warm­ing trends begin in the kitchen.

At a time of the year when we rely on import­ing for fresh fruit vari­ety, apples and oranges are the excep­tion. Region­ally grown in Cal­i­for­nia, Ore­gon and Wash­ing­ton, the sea­son is just ramp­ing up.

Pick the plea­sure. Watch for the favorites to arrive. Plan to indulge culi­nary explo­ration when it comes to desserts and treats.

Apples and oranges, there is no competition.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.

Market Report page 1

Market Report page 2

Market Report page 3

Market Report page 4