To the Northerners before us, the day a citrus fruit made its way Up North was a good day indeed. Just a simple orange had a buoying effect in an isolating winter. We know that the vibrant delicacy didn’t make it to all our northern reaches; our staff photographer’s father, Gerald Zawistowski, who grew up in the potato belt of Elmira, didn’t see an orange until he went to Grand Rapids as a young man.
Citrus was an exotic visitor in the snow-coated Manistee County farm town of Dublin during the Great Depression, when crates of surplus Florida grapefruit came by food train, leaving a lasting impression on a young James Earl Jones, who grew up there. “We hardly ever had grapefruit in our house,” Jones recalls in his autobiography. “The taste of it knocked me out, the pure, juicy luxury of grapefruit in winter. I decided to write a poem about it.”
Craving that same fragrant joy? Any of these fresh, modern recipes—a sexy and bright grapefruit martini, citrus cream linguini, griddled dark chocolate sandwiches with slices of clementine—will bring a bright note to February’s palest days.