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Tangerines

A lot of people get confused between tangerines and mandarins, but don’t worry, we are get confused sometimes too. To make it simple, the tangerine is a type of mandarin. This means that all tangerines are mandarins, but not vice versa. The main differences between both are in color, taste, and peel. Everything else, like nutritional benefits and preparation methods, are the same. The tangerine has a darker reddish-orange skin while the mandarin comes in a light orange shade. Taste-wise, the tangerine is a bit tarter than mandarins, which tend to be on the sweeter side. Tangerines also have thicker skin than most mandarins, making them better for export due to their durability.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Genus: Citrus
  • Species: C. tangerina
  • Binomial name: Citrus tangerina

Tangerine Trivia

  • Tangerines are named after Tangiers, a port city in Morocco, where they were shipped from when sent to Europe.
  • Essential oils from the tangerine peel are used to flavor everything from candy, ice cream, soda, baked goods, and even perfume.
  • It takes around 4 tangerines to create one cup of juice.

Tangerine Buying Guide

The first thing you want to check when purchasing tangerines are their weight. The tangerine must feel heavy for its weight and not feel light or dried out. The color must have a reddish-orange shade to it, avoid tangerines that are pale and have a lot of green to their peel. Tangerines do not ripen after they are picked so it is very important to not purchase underripe tangerines.

Avoid tangerines with any bruising or soft spots. Give the tangerines a soft squeeze and they should still feel a little bit firm and not squishy. If any liquid comes out from any part of the fruit while squeezing it, discard and move on to the next.

Tangerine Production & Farming in Texas

Due to their shared characteristics, tangerine production is often lumped in with mandarin orange production. There are three types of tangerines being produced in Texas, the Clementine, Dancy, and Changsha tangerines. These three variants are very cold hardy but haven’t been very popular due to their tartness and seediness. A lot of growers instead go for the more popular satsumas, which are just as cold hardy and are sweeter and have fewer seeds than the tangerine.

Pesticides:

Studies have shown at least 14 different pesticide residues and chemicals found in commercially grown tangerines. These chemicals include known carcinogens, developmental toxins, and toxins that have been known to kill off honey bees. As with any citrus fruit, the flesh of the tangerine is relatively safe to consume because of the peel that protects it from contamination, but the damage to the growing environment is already done.

Support local growers and help do your part for the environment by choosing organic tangerines if they are available.

Geography:

Unless you live in the Lower Rio Grande Region, your best bet for growing tangerines would be in a container so you can move the plants indoors during the cold winter months. While tangerines are pretty cold hardy, unpredictable cold weather can easily kill off your plants if they’re not given adequate protection.

The tangerine requires a neutral soil pH of 6.0-6.5. The soil for the plant needs to be kept moist, but not soggy as to avoid rot. The tangerine plant also needs full sun for it to flower and produce fruit.

Packaging:

Tangerines, like most mandarin oranges, are pretty soft fruit. Tangerines are usually individually wrapped in plastic bags before being displayed in grocery stores. From the farm, they’re usually packed in crates or cardboard boxes which are shallow to avoid squashing and damaging the fruit.

Tangerines are also commonly stored in strict temperature-controlled warehouses for longer-term storage for up to three months before getting shipped out to customers.

Eating Tangerines

Tangerines have skins that are very easy to peel. Just start from the top where the stem connects to the fruit and you can peel the whole fruit in a couple of seconds.

Storage:

Tangerines can be stored on the countertop at room temperature for up to three to five days. In the fridge, they can last up to two weeks, just make sure to check on them every now and then to check for mold growth, if you spot any, remove the moldy ones to make sure that the others won’t be affected.

To freeze tangerines, peel them first and separate them by segment. After that, freeze them in a single layer to avoid clumping before transferring them to a different freezer-safe container.

Tip: Tangerines, like any other citrus fruit, might have a little bit of an “off” texture after being frozen. We recommend juicing the tangerines and freeze them as juice instead of freezing in its fruit form.

Cooking:

Tangerines are best consumed in their raw fruit form. They can be segmented and added to almost any dessert to add a citrus kick to it. They can also be added to garden salads and fruit salads. In fact, they can be used in any recipe that uses any kind of citrus fruit.

Tangerines do not do very well in heated applications as they tend to lose a lot of their flavor. If a recipe calls for oranges, and you have tangerines on hand, increase the amount of fruit used to compensate for the flavor loss.

Nutrition:

  • Carbs
    • Most of the carbs from tangerines come from natural sugars, so it’s a healthy alternative for snacking when compared to processed sugars and junk food. The soluble fiber in the tangerines also helps moderate the blood sugar levels so you don’t get a blood sugar spike when eating tangerines.
    • The glycemic load of a single tangerine (around 75 grams) is estimated to be about 3, so it’s a very safe snack for people with diabetes.
  • Fiber
    • One hundred grams of fresh tangerines provide around 8% of the RDI for dietary fiber.
      • A diet that is rich in dietary fiber helps prevent constipation and lowers overall cholesterol levels by binding with and flushing out toxins from your body.
    • Vitamins and minerals:
      • A 100g serving of tangerines provides approximately 50% of the RDI for vitamin C.
      • Tangerines are also rich in flavonoids, phenolics, and essential oils that have been shown to have antioxidant properties.
      • The phytonutrients in tangerines protect from cell damage, lowers the risk of cardiovascular events, and may provide a host of other health benefits.
      • Tangerines also contain a good amount of Vitamin A which is good for overall eye health.

When Are Tangerines in Season in Texas?

One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 100g
  • Calories: 53 0
  • Carbs: 34g 0
  • Sugar: 58g 0
  • Fiber: 8g 0
  • Protein: 81g 0
  • Fat: 0.31g 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0g 0

Seasonality

When are apples in season in Texas?

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