Your Winter Quarantine Salvation Has Arrived

The Bittman x Bi-Rite Citrus Box is back! (It's not the vaccine, but it WILL make you feel better.)

I’m not sure if you’ll remember, but about exactly a year ago I wrote this:

Sure, winter can be a drag (both in and out of the kitchen), but there's one ingredient in particular that makes me look forward to it: citrus. When it's in season (which it is right now), it's as good as summer fruit. Of course, what we get in the northeast are usually those varieties that are grown large-scale, and bred not for flavor but for shelf-life, indestructability (if that’s a word), high yield, and so on. 

Wanting to see if I could get the best citrus grown in the US, I called my friend Sam Mogannam, who owns Bi-Rite Market, the fabulous grocery store in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood, and asked – really, this was a big favor - if we could try to figure out a way to fill a pre-paid USPS shipping box with citrus and send it to my house. (We started with Fedex, which was prohibitively expensive and, incredibly, not as efficient.) 

This worked, we’re on our third such box, and I'm in citrus heaven. Even better, after my request (which was really little more than a whim, though I needed Meyer lemons, kumquats, and kishus), Bi-Rite is experimenting with making these citrus boxes available to anyone. You can just order on their website and a box of peak-season citrus will be shipped to your door. I can't overstate how amazing this is.

Well, maybe you can see where this is heading, but I’m unreasonably excited to announce that the Bi-Rite x Bittman California Citrus Experience Box is back!! (I’m not kidding, that’s what it’s called.) People loved it so much last year, that Bi-Rite has agreed to do it again. It’s about 10 to 12 pounds of fresh California citrus (think mandarins, lemons, limes, oranges, quats, grapefruit) hand-picked and hand-packed by Bi-Rite’s produce team and shipped to your door. If there’s such thing as a box full of sunshine, I think this is it (and it’s hard to imagine a time where a little infusion of joy was more necessary).

The citrus box is only available for about the next 8 weeks (pending fruit availability), so if you’re interested, you can order here or by clicking on the button below.


Unrelated, but I also wanted to let you know that Friday’s newsletter is going to be a little different. Rather than just sending a regular email, I’m going to start our first ever community discussion thread. These threads are a way for us to connect with each other and have a casual conversation about cooking, eating, food, and, generally speaking, life.

Here’s how it works: Each thread will be based on a question; something that I’m eager to talk about and learn about with all of you (or as many of you as are willing to join the conversation). On Friday at 12pm ET, you’ll get an email with the question that kicks off the thread; if you have something to say about it, you just type a comment into the discussion thread. I’ll be live in the thread (responding to you all and adding my own two cents) from 12pm to 2pm, but there’s no time limit on this, and you can come in and out anytime, as you please (I know it’s a workday). The idea is to spark an interesting food-related discussion, and have a place not just where I can engage directly with you, but where you can engage directly with each other.

This will all become clear (clearer?) on Friday when you receive the thread email, but I wanted to give you a heads up and also tee up the question to get you thinking about it. What I want to know is: What are your food-related resolutions for 2021?

No, it’s not a particularly original question, but I’m fascinated by people’s goals around cooking and eating; they tend to span a gigantic range and are almost always inspiring in one way or another. I’m excited to chat about what we’re all hoping to accomplish food-wise this year; if you’re into it, please join the thread on Friday. Hope to see you there.


What To Do With Your Citrus (Besides Devouring It)







Talk To Me, Goose!

Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.