Maude officially opened! Citrus season is in full swing in February, marking a time show off just how incredible these winter fruits really are.
We are fortunate to have access to fantastic, fresh citrus in California, much of it grown in the San Joaquin Valley, approximately 200 miles north of Los Angeles. The hot summer days and cold winter nights, together with full rich soils, result in California being home to some of the best citrus trees in the world, bearing fruit with full body flavour. Not only are the growing conditions ideal in the Golden State but the growers’ expertise and depth of knowledge is extensive, as they are able to draw on lessons learnt from over 120 years of citrus harvesting in this state alone.
Having said all of this, we think it is super important to pay homage to these wonderful fruits, which add a gooddose of brightness and zing to the cold and dark winter months, and the farmers who work tirelessly to produce them.
We used the juice, pith and rind of a bunch of citrus varieties including yuzus, finger limes, blood oranges, satsumas and married them up with other ingredients at the peak of their season, to create salts, salads, soups, raviolis, gelees and cakes (to name just a few). Shellfish is extremely good in the colder months, so beautiful west coast oysters, mussels, and spiny lobsters featured on our menu.
As the earth is cold at this time of the year, anything that grows in it, gets all that flavour from the nutrition in the soil - carrots, turnips, parsnips, sunchokes, these root veggies also starred in a couple of dishes. I’ve long been a fan of rich, game birds and February is a great season for duck and geese, so we put in orders for a couple of birds that formed the filling of our raviolo topped with a citrus buerre blanc and pickled Swiss chard – fresh homemade pasta, everybody’s favourite!