Winter Staples

A Gentle Reminder: Fruit Is Also in Season in Winter

Enjoy fruit at its best.

Published Jan. 19, 2023.

When I moved from the West Coast to the East Coast at this time last year, I learned that cold weather applies to more than layering up. I had to learn new food habits. 

But, I wasn’t willing to give up my fresh produce. 

Even if winter where you are doesn’t bring colder or drier weather, it often does mean more gravy, casseroles, and bread than usual.

If you have a hankering for fresh fruit, too, don’t despair. Sure, you might not be able to indulge in watermelon slices or a juicy peach, but winter presents its own seasonal fruits that are just as delicious.

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Here is a list of eight fruits to look out for this winter. Note: Botanically speaking, squashes are fruits as they contain seeds. So, if you can't find something on this list in your area, squashes like butternut and delicata are in season too.


These hard fruits are less popular in modern kitchens but no less delicious in season. Though their bright yellow color and anatomy will remind you of pears, don’t bite into a raw one if you value your taste buds. Cook your quince. And what better way to enjoy them than with warming spices in a Mulled Wine Quince Pie?


They look like orange tomatoes, they’re sweet like dates, and their creamy texture surprises the uninitiated. These interesting fruits are hard to find in grocery stores but make a delicious substitute for tomatoes if you’re craving caprese salad in the winter.

Prickly Pear

If I had to pick one fruit I missed most, it would be the ruby red berries I picked from the prickly pear, or nopal, cactus in front of my grandparents’ home.

Buying them in the grocery store requires less work since the spines are removed, but with a glove and a knife they can be enjoyed right from the plant with a little lime juice. Make Prickly Pear Jelly to get an idea of the sweet melon-like taste.

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The most obvious of the citrus fruits, lemons are gastro gears, making soups, salads, smoothies, pastries, poultry, and even water taste better. But, in the winter, Meyer lemons, which are actually an orange/lemon hybrid, get to show off. Start with a simple Meyer Lemon Curd. If you like it (and you will), you’ll enjoy using this winter citrus staple in many dessert applications.


Fond of sweet and floral? Clementines make a delicious snack. Put some sunshine on the table with a Clementine Cake. Cooked minimally, these seedless segments can be preserved in a simple syrup for up to a year.


Simply cutting one of these colorful treasures in half and sprinkling it with a touch of sugar makes a welcome addition to any breakfast. But grapefruit is much more. A rich Salmon, Avocado, Grapefruit, and Watercress Salad showcases the sweet and tart notes that make grapefruit so special.

Or, kick up your next tequila-filled confection by making your own grapefruit syrup in a Sous Vide Grapefruit Paloma. Not much of a drinker? Get the same refreshing taste with a Grapefruit-Rosemary Spritzer.

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These giant fruits are similar to grapefruits, boasting a sweeter, milder flavor. Their thick peels and tough skins should be removed before eating as they're bitter. But, don’t be intimidated, they’re not hard to work with.

More on Pomelos

This oversize citrus is sweeter and more mellow than grapefruit and perfect for salads and jam. Here's how to deal with its intimidatingly thick skin and pith.
How to Peel a Pomelo


These Southeast Asian native fruits are similar to tangerines, with the shape and general size of an olive. The most fascinating part is that the peel is sweet and the fruit is tangy and sour, so you can eat the whole thing!

Photo credit: istetiana/via Getty Images

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