Mandarins (citrus reticulata) are smaller in size than oranges and contain more seeds. However, the shining red Satsuma (named after the Japanese province Satsuma) is without seeds. Due to their relatively delicate skin, they are susceptible to injury and need to be handled carefully. However, Mandarins have long been appreciated for their fine distinctive and sweet flavour. Contrary to other citrus fruit, mandarins are easily peeled and segmented, which make them an easy snack in almost any location.
Ensure that the mandarin you choose has a rich, glossy skin with a fine texture. Make sure fruit does not have soft spots. Don't be discouraged by the fruit's puffy appearance and feel because this is completely normal and makes peeling the mandarin very easy.
The mandarine is a healthy fruit although no nutrient plays a special role. It is low in calories, free of cholesterol and contains some vitamin C, flavonoids and potassium. This makes it a very good snack.
As with other citrus species, the precise origin of the Mandarin is uncertain, but is believed to be either Southwest China or Southeast Asia, where they have been cultivated for over 4,000 years.
Mandarins used to be reserved strictly for the privileged class in the Far East. Their name is derived from the bright orange robes worn by the mandarins, the public officials of the ancient Chinese court. Although cultivated for over 3,000 years in China, mandarin oranges only reached Northern Africa around 200 AD and were introduced to Europe by the Moors after 700 AD. The first mandarin oranges to be exported were shipped from Tangiers in Morocco. This may explain why they are mistakenly named tangerines
Serving size: 100 grams
Use mandarin oranges as a colorful, sweet accent in green salads for a touch of class.
They are especially good in desserts. Use as a decoration, a topping on ice cream with a drizzle of Grand Marnier, or as a dipper for chocolate fondue for quick desserts.