This time of year is great for tasty mandarins, the collective name for easy-peeler citrus fruit. We are entering the late season from the Mediterranean producing countries of Spain, Morocco and Italy, the early to mid-season varieties are all but finished, and the long-hanging, late varieties are being harvested.
Long-hanging fruit on the trees is key to a subtle change in eating experience. These varieties tend to be strong on flavour with sugars, acids and aromatics that have been allowed to develop slowly since Spring. When at their best, they are irresistibly sweet, juicy and satisfying. They are often slightly firmer than the earlier season fruit, may not peel so easily, and can have slightly more acid, but are well worth their place in your fruit bowl.
Check the labels or ask the store staff and look out for:
Clemenvilla from Spain (or Suntina from Israel)
Nour from Morocco
Nadorcott from Morocco or Spain
Orri from Spain or Israel
Tacle from Italy (M&S only)(unusual flavour of blood oranges)
Queen from Spain (a new Satsuma hybrid variety)
On the way out:
Clemenules from Spain