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Suggestions of how to use Flying Dragon bitter oranges

 
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Hello all,
I have a citrus tree that I think reverted to its rootstock years ago, probably Flying Dragon. It has grown like crazy, puts out wonderful smelling blossoms and lots of fruit. But the fruit isn't palatable. Its sour, bitter and acrid.
I would appreciate any clever suggestions of what I can do with this bountiful harvest of fruit!
Thanks!
 
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I have read that the juice is acid enough to preserve things in.
My own experience with the fruit is juice is about like lemon.
The fruit seems to blett and soften after being picked.
I would like to try  juiceing it with a steam juicer if possible.
Marmalade is also a traditional use.
 
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I believe Flying Dragon is a specific and extra-thorny cultivar of the Trifoliate Orange (Poncirus trifoliata).  Trifoliate Orange (although not, I think, Flying Dragon specifically) is often used as a citrus root stock; among other benefits, it's supposed to confer a couple of extra degrees of cold hardiness upon the citrus species grafted to it.  It also features in numerous citrus hybrids in an attempt to gain some of its cold hardiness for more palatable species.  

There aren't a lot of uses for the fruit.  As mentioned, marmalade is sometimes made, but there's a famous recipe that facetiously suggests throwing away the fruit as the first step.

I have lately been making bitter citrus syrups from ugly citrus on various produce clearance racks.  It would need a lot of sugar, but I want to try making a Poncirus syrup.

There are a lot of artisanal bitters preparations these days for making fancy cocktails.  I think a Poncirus bitters would be interesting and tasty, although it would probably want to be combined with another strong flavor.

Eat The Weeds says that in China the fruit is dehydrated, ground, and used as a seasoning.  Other sources report that it's high in Vitamin C, which usually survives dehydrating fairly well.  I therefore see it as a potential resource in hard times when scurvy might be a concern.  
 
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Megan LaCroix wrote:Hello all,
I have a citrus tree that I think reverted to its rootstock years ago, probably Flying Dragon. It has grown like crazy, puts out wonderful smelling blossoms and lots of fruit. But the fruit isn't palatable. Its sour, bitter and acrid.
I would appreciate any clever suggestions of what I can do with this bountiful harvest of fruit!
Thanks!



I have a flying dragon. The fruit is small, smells awesome. I gather fruit in late fall, leave it in buckets on the porch for 4 to 6 weeks as temps get to freezing. Then they can be juiced. I put the juice into ice cube trays. One cube in a 6 oz glass of water tastes Lot like grapefruit juice (unsweetened). Has vitamin c, some interesting medicinal qualities are detailed at eat the weeds (cytokine storm suppression).

Ive also made bitters, lemoncello, etc. In a pinch, I suspect the rind could be source of potent citrus oil for cleaning or pectin for setting jelly.
 
Dan Boone
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What’s the easiest method you’ve found for mass juicing?
 
J Davis
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Dan Boone wrote:What’s the easiest method you’ve found for mass juicing?



Dan, after theyve been frozen / thawed a few times, I just use a cotrus press that has hole in it. The juice comes through, the seeds remain in the press. Lots of seeds!
 
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Posting here just so I can find the thread later when my own trifoliate orange tree begins bearing fruit.  I started one from seed several years ago.  It's now waist height.  
 
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A few ideas -
Do you like Asian food? You could make Ponzu sauce, you may want to mix it with other citrus if the fruit you have is very bitter.  But I imagine there could be a similarity to yuzu.  Here are two recipes, I've used the first one, and it's very tasty:

NY Times recipe of the day - Ponzu Sauce

Ponzu Sauce form Justonecookbook

They are similar, but the slight difference might be important when using a more bitter fruit.  Ponzu is a dipping sauce for Japanese food, but it works great on a lot of things.  My husband and I do a lot of "bowls" and that sort of thing, and use different sauces to mix things up.

Also, the peel might be tasty.  It's worth tasting.  It also may be very fragrant.  I like to keep a jar of dried orange or lemon peel around for recipes, tea, etc.  I don't eat sugar anymore, but I used to LOVE candied citrus peel.  It's insanely good.  Just about any citrus works for it.


Another thing you could do is make homemade cleaners.  Like for cleaning dishes, the oven, whatever.  I have a mason jar full of the cleaner, which I made from vinegar, salt and leftover lemon peel.  I used this recipe, and it does not smell like vinegar:

Lemons for Life's recipe for lemon dishwashing gel

This is a different cleaner with lemon peel, I think this one works as glass cleaner:

Lemon vinegar spray cleaner

I'll mention again, the gel above does not smell like vinegar.  I can't stand having a vinegar smell after cleaning something.  I don't know about the second link, though on the net people say it doesn't smell strongly of vinegar.

Here are a bunch of other ways to use citrus for cleaning:

10 Ways to clean with lemons


The gel stuff smells wonderful and works well for cleaning fat off things.  Like animal fat after cooking broth, or rendering fat, or roasting.  The sort of stuff that's very hard to get out of the pan.





 
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I have used sauces for cooking for years. I used to eat a lot of soy sauce, until I started reading that industrial soy sauce isn't good for you.  I tried substituting worcestershire sauce, but the ones in the store had some healthy ingredients and some unhealthy.  I decided to make my own sauce, so I can keep all the good and avoid the bad.   I have been rotating what I put in this sauce, depending on what I am harvesting out of the garden.  I have used the trifoliate orange in sauces before and really liked it, although seeds need to be removed.  Optimal ingredients for sauce include things that are healthy and have a good flavor that is a bit too strong.  I include trifoliate orange in this category.  In Chinese cooking/medicine, it is considered more medicinal than other citrus related fruits.  One thing I love about growing your own is that it's so easy to grow it organically.  I have fermented the peel and also made zest out of it. I put small slices of fermented peel in my green salad and liked it.   I am looking forward to adding this as another flavor to my sauce this year.

John S
PDX OR
 
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The resin in the skin of trifoliate orange can be quite… terrible if overdosed. I will probably need a few more years until the smell doesn't introduce nausea for me.
 
J Davis
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Sebastian Köln wrote:The resin in the skin of trifoliate orange can be quite… terrible if overdosed. I will probably need a few more years until the smell doesn't introduce nausea for me.



Harvest and put them in cold storage for 4 to 6 weeks to drop that resin level considerably. I store mine outside in fall, but refrigerator or even freezer may work as well if you mimic nature. Ie, put in freezer for an hour or two per day for x days, etc
 
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