Like an Alien facehugger, but for your fruit
Credit: Photo by Kat Kinsman

I fully admit that I have more intensive citrus needs than most humans, and the reason behind this is cocktails. I enjoy them in moderation, but without apology, and they tend to involve lemon, limes, or grapefruit so as to yield a delightfully tart beverage while also staving off various pirate maladies. I tend toward a mezcal and lemon, while my husband digs an old fashioned (the throwback kind with the muddled orange and cherry) and this is all to say that we tend to have a fair amount of halved fruit hanging out.

It drives me batshit. I'm intensely fussy about both not wasting food and not drawing fruit flies, so I tend to nestle these in plastic wrap or foil and check them in the fridge. When I do find them again—not even that much later—they're often at a state of dessication that makes them unusable for anything but instilling guilt in me for having missed their viable window. Granted, I had 12 years of Catholic school and guilt over minor transgressions is the rocket fuel on which my psyche runs, but also—citrus is hella expensive and I'd rather spend that sweet cash on more mezcal.

I am, however, cautiously optimistic about a new development in my life: the citrus saver. These are made by a billion different brands and go by many different names—food huggers, food savers, produce keepers, to name a few—but they're basically like colorful little silicone shower caps that you stretch over the cut end of produce to keep it from drying out or getting shmutz and flies all over it. And it seems to work thus far. I'd been toying with buying these online several times but it seemed like too much effort, so when I happened upon a box of weird-brand produce savers while shopping for floor stain, shower curtain rings, and steaks at my local Agway, it felt like fate. Even when the teen working the register while holding a phone conversation with his friend ("I gotta take these people, hold on…") removed one from the box and began jabbing at it with his finger ("Oooooh, dude, stretchy!").

Did I follow suit once I was in the privacy of my car? Of course! They're unnervingly fleshy to the touch and the first time I sheathed a halved lemon in one I had a nightmare about the facehugger scene from Alien, but dang, was that lemon still viable the next day and there wasn't a fly in sight. They come in several sizes, so limes, oranges and grapefruit can all be snugly covered, too. I'd recommend a brand if I'd compared a few, but the first one I encountered did the trick, so I'm just gonna assume they're mostly fine and go make myself a cocktail.