PRODUCT: Clementines | THE NIBBLE Blog - Adventures In The World Of Fine Food PRODUCT: Clementines – THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food
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PRODUCT: Clementines

Oh my darling clementines: The sweetest
mandarin orange is also the juiciest.
Photo courtesy Del Monte.


What are those cute little oranges that have been in the produce section since the holidays?

They’re clementines: botanical name Citrus reticulata, for its pebbled skin.

Why should you get to know them? They’re a very sweet, juicy, healthy portable snack. But buy them now: The season is over by March.

Seedless, thin-skinned and very easy to peel, clementines are a user-friendly variety of mandarin orange. They’re the smallest member of the mandarin family, and the favorite variety for their sweetness, juiciness and thinner membranes.

While they have their own distinctive flavor, clementines can be substituted for oranges or tangerines in recipes.

Tangerines (Citrus tangerine), also a member of the mandarin family of citrus, has a thicker, tougher peel and seeds.

The clementine is believed to have originated as an accidental hybrid between a sweet orange and a mandarin orange, planted in Misserghin, Algeria around 1900 by Father Clement Rodier. (It has also been called the Algerian tangerine.)

The clementine, once imported from Morocco and Spain, now grows in California and Florida. Pick some up and let us know what you think.

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