Fresh Mandarin Oranges

In Albums: fruit produce citrus

Whole, fresh Mandarin oranges, a small, flat, orange-shaped citrus fruit, with a few stems and leaves attached

Feb 27th, 2011, by Alex Zorach

These Mandarin oranges were for sale at the Newark, Delaware farmer's market for 5 for $1. While this seems like a good price, consider that the much larger navel oranges, which keep better and bruise less easily, were also available for the same price on the same day, making these somewhat of a specialty item, albeit a reasonably priced one. Note the few stems and leaves attached: for some reason I have found Mandarins tend to come with attached stems and leaves more often than most other citrus.

The Mandarin orange is known to most Americans only in its canned form. Its fresh form is rather rare. Oddly, the flavor and overall quality of the fresh fruit is remarkably similar to the canned fruit: it is soft, almost mushy, very sweet, and with little sourness. The Mandarin peels very easily and is similar in many respects to Clementines, the common fruit to which it probably bears a closest resemblance. Compared to Clementines, I find Mandarins to be a bit flatter and sometimes lumpier, and to bruise and dry out more easily.

Interesting as a novelty item or for variety, but I find them a bit impractical as they are more perishable than other citrus, and frankly, a bit bland.