World Variety Produce, Los Angeles, which markets under the Melissa’s label, focuses on providing seasonal citrus options, and some of those seasons are getting longer, according to Robert Schueller, director of public relations.
One such item is the meyer lemon, which used to only be available for a few months, although now they are typically available for eight months of the year.
Other specialty items are also increasing in availability.
“We’re known for our kumquats, which started in late November, and we’ll have them until about June,” Schueller said.
The company is also promoting several varieties of grapefruit, including a cocktail grapefruit that is seeing a lot of interest, Schueller said.
The company’s finger limes are also a unique offering that has seen an extended season in the past few years. After only about four years in the U.S. market, the company is attempting to supply them year round.
“Originally, we only had them for one or two months, but this year will be the first year we’re supposed to have them all year,” he said.
Schueller said the limes are expensive, sometimes $20 a pound, but are still favorites of gourmet chefs and mixologists.
“It’s a specialty item that can grow year-round, so it’s a good item for special recipes,” he said.
Seville oranges, a sour orange often used for cooking marmalade and other similar recipes, are another item the company is expanding.
“We’ve really increased awareness and distribution for our sour oranges. The Seville oranges are usually only available for two months, but we started those in late December and may have them into March this year,” Schueller said.