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Best California In-Season Fruits for Winter
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Best California In-Season Fruits for Winter

Discover California's top winter fruits—citrus, pomegranates, persimmons, & more—for peak flavor and nutrition. Team


2 min read

November 06, 2023

California, with its unique microclimates and fertile soils, stands as a bastion of agricultural diversity, producing a bountiful array of fruits throughout the year. Even in the depths of winter, when much of the country is blanketed in snow, the Golden State continues to offer a cornucopia of fresh, in-season fruits. For those seeking to indulge in the best that the season has to offer, here is a guide to the finest California fruits to enjoy during the winter months.

Citrus takes center stage in winter, with California’s groves bursting with vibrant oranges, grapefruits, lemons, tangerines, and limes. Navel oranges, known for their sweet and seedless nature, are at their juiciest from December through April. They are not only perfect for a fresh snack or a citrusy salad but are also full of vitamin C, which is essential for boosting immunity during the cold season.


Grapefruits, from the sweet Ruby Reds to the zesty Oro Blancos, typically peak between November and May. Their bold flavors and rich antioxidants make them a healthful choice for breakfast or a tangy addition to winter salads. Similarly, lemons like the Eureka and Meyer varieties, which are sweeter and less acidic, become available throughout the winter, ideal for brightening up savory dishes or adding a zesty kick to warm beverages.

Grapefruits are a flavor-diverse fruit that are great inclusions into multiple different meals.


Tangerines, with their easy-to-peel skin and sweet segments, are another winter highlight. Varieties such as Satsumas arrive as early as November, while others like Clementines and Mandarins continue to ripen throughout the winter months. These small fruits are not only kid-friendly but are also packed with vitamins A and C, making them a delicious way to stave off seasonal ailments.


Beyond citrus, the winter season in California is also celebrated for its pomegranates. Typically in season from October to January, pomegranates are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. The seeds, or arils, add a burst of flavor and color to both sweet and savory dishes, and the juice is a popular antioxidant-rich drink.

Pomegranates are fantastic, from jams to juices.


Persimmons, with their bright orange hue, are another winter fruit to relish. They come in two main varieties: the Hachiya and the Fuyu. Hachiyas are acorn-shaped and need to be fully ripe before consumption, becoming incredibly sweet and soft. Fuyus, on the other hand, are squat and can be eaten like an apple, even when firm. Persimmons are commonly used in baking or in vibrant winter salads.

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Kiwifruit also makes its mark in California’s winter fruit lineup. This fuzzy, brown-skinned fruit with its bright green or golden flesh is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Although often associated with New Zealand, California produces a significant portion of the world's kiwis, and they are typically harvested from October through May.


Dates, although perhaps less celebrated, are another wintertime treasure in California, particularly in the Coachella Valley. Harvested from the date palm from autumn through winter, they are a naturally sweet snack packed with fiber, potassium, and magnesium.

Dates are one of the most underrated California fruits that can be included in many dishes.

When consuming California’s winter fruits, it is not only a feast for the senses but also a support for the local economies and a commitment to sustainability. These fruits travel fewer miles to reach consumers, ensuring freshness and reducing carbon footprints. Enjoying in-season fruits also aligns with the natural cycles of agriculture, allowing one to experience flavors at their peak while contributing to a more sustainable food system.

Incorporating these seasonal delights into meals and snacks is a delightful way to enjoy California’s winter bounty. Whether it's a fresh grapefruit for breakfast, a handful of tangerines for a snack, or a pomegranate-studded salad for dinner, these fruits offer a delicious and nutritious way to brighten up the winter months.

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