ORANGES, TANGERINES, CLEMENTINES…
How to identify the different varieties?
Oranges and Tangerines are different varieties of the same species. Tangerines and clementines are both hybrids of the small-sized mandarin.
To understand the difference, the second-largest cultivated group of citrus after sweet oranges, the Tangerines, are smaller than oranges, they are bright orange color, have slightly tougher skin, are a little less sweet and a bit more tart. Clementines, on the other hand, have red, orange skin, which is smooth and shiny, they are easier to peel than Tangerines but not as easy to peel as Satsumas. Satsumas are light orange and are sweet, juicy and seedless. They are the easiest to peel.
Tangerines were first cultivated in China more than 3 000 years ago. The United States and the European continent had to wait until the 1800s to be reached by this cute and delicious citrus fruit giving us the strength to get through the winter! Today, Tangerines are abundant not only in Asia but also in the United States of America, in Australia, in India and in the Mediterranean.
How to pick a good tangerine?
A good quality tangerine will be glossy with the slightest deeper orange colour and with slightly looser peels than oranges. It shall feel heavy for their size, soft and puffy.
sweet, mild, refreshing, taste. To pick the perfect tangerine or clementine, use both your hands to make the difference between these two similar fruits. If the fruit feels smooth, you are then holding a clementine. If it is rough and bumpy, it is a tangerine.
Nutritionally, tangerines and clementines present very close similarities:
For 75 grams of Tangerine:
1 gram of protein
Less than 1 gram of fat
10 grams of carbs
1 gram of fiber
20 mg of Vitamin C equal to 34% of the daily value
For 75 grams of Clementine:
1 gram of protein
less than 1 gram of fat
9 grams of carbs
1 gram of fiber
36mg of Vitamin C equal to 60% of the daily value
These small orange balls are packed with vitamin C and both provide macronutrients such as carotenoids, and fiber.
The beta-cryptoxanthin, concentrated in both fruits, includes beta-carotenes compounds while absorbing in the body, therefore increasing vitamin A in your system which boosts the immune system.
Also, 65-70% of the fiber in these citrus fruits is soluble which means it improves considerably the digestive system and can reduce cholesterol levels.
How to enjoy them best?
As a snack, in a salad or as a juice are definitely the most common forms of consuming this delicious, small fruit. Easy to pack wherever we go, so delicious and packed with vitamins.
If the fruit is well washed, the outer peel is edible even if traditionally we don’t have a habit of eating it. Note that citrus peels are filled with essential oils and compounds with antioxidants properties. The zest from the peel can be used for flavoring your dishes just as using herbs.
Tangerines and clementines can also be used for preparing jam thanks to their richness in pectin; actually realising it at home is pretty easy:
Cut three whole pieces of one of the fruits of your choice, cut and chop them finely
Place the fruit in the pan adding 45 milliliters of water and 30 grams of sugar.
Stir for about half an hour, maybe 45 minutes, until the fruit is soft and starts to darken a little bit
When thick, pour the marmalade into a jar and store it in the fridge! :-)
Now if you are a real gourmet enthusiast, and wish to try something delicious and new using tangerines or clementines, check our clementine cinnamon rolls recipe on our blog and lighten up your snacks or brunches!