We finally have snow. I’ve been making hot spiced recipes. Rich flavor a like coconut and milk are great, but I usually add some kick to it, like lemon or spices. So many winter recipes center around citrus. I began to wonder why.
There is plenty of it in nature; many conifer needles, steeped as tea can give a citrusy drink loaded with vitamin C. In fact the origin of the word citrus is thuja, a cedar-like conifer. Fir and spruce needles smell of tangerine and spices, so the theme continues with conifers. Though this doesn’t explain the trend of making citrus drinks.
Among the bright red berries that survive winter, most are plentiful in that citrus flavor, though I suggest caution, as many are poisonous. One blog called Wild Drinks has a wicked recipe for hackberry milk. Sometimes called sugarberry, they’re a valued food for both birds and humans. Though it’s found in the south, the berries sometimes last into midwinter.
I guess I don’t really know the answer, but it could have been passed along by our ancestors as a way to find vitamin C during the winter.