Description: Mandarins are a large group of citrus fruit that are easy to peel and are appreciated for their fine and distinctive flavour. Included in the group are Satsumas, Common mandarins (Clementines), Mediterranean mandarins, King mandarins, Hybrid mandarins, Tangors and Tangelos.
Clementines are a type of mandarin which are among the nationâ€™s favourite fruits, with good reason. At their best they are sweet, juicy, tasty, seedless, easy to peel, easy to eat, irresistible and good value. They come in small, medium and large sizes, and are pretty much always available. They are definitely on our list of 5-Star rated fruit!
Like many fruits that are available over a long period, there are plenty of different types with different characteristics, some of which are fantastic, while others are pretty ordinary, but the age and maturity of the fruit has a big influence on enjoyment and not all retailers are quick to protect the eating quality as the varietal seasons change.
Satsumas are also Mandarins, but warrant their own section as they have distinct characteristics.
Species: Citrus unshiu (Satsuma), C. deliciosa (Mediterranean), C. nobilis (King), C. reticulata (Common)
Origin: North-east India or south-west China. Cultivation has been recorded as long ago as 12th century BC.
Grown in: Mandarins are more cold-tolerant than other types of citrus, so are less common in the hot citrus regions of the world. The main countries of origin for the UK market are Spain, Morocco, Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, South Africa and Peru, but Chile, Argentina and Israel also contribute. Huge production also exists in USA, China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and various south-east Asian locations.
Storage: Mandarins are generally quite delicate fruit due to their soft peel and do not have a particularly long shelf-life after harvest. However, with good cool storage at 4-5oC, fruit in top condition can last for 2-6 weeks depending on the type.
Availability: Countries of origin of mandarins sold in UK:
January: Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Israel
February: Spain, Morocco, Israel
March: Spain, Morocco, Israel
April: Spain, Morocco, Israel
May: South Africa, Argentina, Peru
June: South Africa, Peru
July: South Africa, Peru
August: South Africa, Peru
September: Spain, South Africa, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Australia
October: Spain, South Africa, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, Australia
November: Spain, Turkey, Chile, Australia
December: Spain, Turkey