Monday, August 22, 2005
The floats are decorated using citrus. Mission, Texas is known as the home of the Ruby Red grapefruit. The Ruby Reds are the tastiest variety of grapefruit. These are sweet and not too tart. My favourite way to eat them is with a spoon and some salt. Our town also has the Texas Citrus Exchange; a large complex that processes citrus into juice and other products. Every harvest season, you can smell the sweet scent of burning citrus byproducts.
Mission, Tx is one of the first areas of the Rio Grande Valley to grow citrus. To this day, citrus is an important part of our economy. During harvest, we will have oranges, grapefruit, and lemons in great abundance. You will even have vendors selling 5 pound bags of the fruit by the sides of the roads in rural areas. It is also common to see trucks loaded with large crates full of citrus. Our economy takes a hit whenever we have winter freezes as it takes a few years for our citrus groves to recover.
Not all of the fruit is used for juice. Some, as hinted earlier, is packed in sacks for shipping. Some of the byproducts are used to make citrus extracts and oils.