How do clementines and oranges differ

Mandarins, clementines and co: what makes them different?

As of: 11/28/2020 12:41 p.m.

Mandarins, clementines, tangerines - now the sweet fruits are in season again. Tips on how to recognize good quality when buying and how to differentiate between the different types.

Bright orange tangerines and their relatives, the clementines, satsumas and tangerines, are now back in the fruit displays of supermarkets and weekly markets. The small fruits are very popular because they can be peeled easily without a knife and taste pleasantly sweet. They have the main season in winter, because then they are harvested in large quantities in the Mediterranean countries - especially in Spain. In the summer months, the fruits come from areas in the southern hemisphere.

In the beginning there was the tangerine

Tangerines are easy to cross. This is how new varieties are created over and over again.

All variants originally come from the mandarine, which has been grown in China for thousands of years. This term is often used for any fruit in this group. The different varieties differ significantly. Real mandarins are rarely found in stores. They often have a lot of seeds and are less sweet, but more aromatic than clementines, for example. The thin skin is bright orange and the pulp is divided into nine segments. Since the tangerine varieties can be easily crossed with one another, new ones are always created.

The popular clementine

The most common are clementines. They are smaller than mandarins and are particularly sweet. Under the thick, brightly colored skin, they have tender, juicy flesh in eight to twelve segments. They are often seedless. The number of pips in the fruit also depends on which trees were nearby as pollinators during the flowering period. Originally, clementines were created from a cross between mandarins and the bitter orange bitter orange. They can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

The early Satsuma

The first fruits from the European harvest in autumn are usually satsumas. This cross of tangerine and orange was first bred in Japan and requires less heat than its relatives. However, satsumas also taste less aromatic. You can recognize them by their flattened shape and their rather yellowish color. The thick shell can be easily removed from the meat with little core.

The little tangerine

Tangerines - the name refers to the Moroccan city of Tangier - are very similar to mandarins, but much smaller. The thin, pore-rich skin and the slightly tart flesh are intensely orange in color.

Buying mandarins and realizing freshness

Since the different types are not always easy to distinguish visually, it is advisable to pay attention to the label on the bag or box when buying. A firm skin that does not detach itself from the pulp is an indication of freshness. In addition, it is better to use heavy fruits because they contain more juice than light ones, which may already have dried out.

Green spots on the skin are not a sign of unripe fruit. Because only when the nights in the growing area get colder does the color change from green to orange. For a beautiful look, many fruits are "re-colored" in a controlled manner in air-conditioned halls. Mandarins harvested too early no longer ripen and remain acidic.

Preservatives on the peel

Mandarins grow on medium-sized trees in southern Europe. They are often chemically treated after harvest.

Mandarins are relatively sensitive to pressure and rot quickly. Fruits from conventional cultivation are therefore treated with putrefactive agents after the harvest. The trade must indicate this with terms such as "preserved" or "with preservative" and state the means used. Before peeling, the fruits should be washed and rubbed with warm water if possible, but at least avoid touching the skin and pulp without washing your hands in between. Small children should not peel mandarins and the like themselves. Alternatively, you can use fruits from organic farming.

Good suppliers of vitamin C

The fruits from the tangerine family are relatively rich in vitamin C, but do worse than oranges. For the recommended daily allowance for an adult, one would have to eat three to four large fruits. There are also valuable substances in the white layer between the skin and the fruit - so if you are not afraid of the slightly bitter taste, you can simply eat it with you.

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Visit | 03.12.2019 | 8:15 pm