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Algerian tangerines are some of the smallest citrus fruits, measuring less than two and a half inches in diameter. Their shape varies from oblate to oblong to pyriform; they often, but not always, have short necks. The rind is pebbled and deep orange. Combined with the Algerian tangerine's general lack of seeds, the thin and easy to peel rind makes this fruit an ideal snack food. Inside are eight to twelve separate segments of deep orange, juicy flesh. The taste is very sweet and has been described as melting, tender, and refreshing.
Algerian tangerines are available in the mid fall into the winter months.
The Algerian tangerine, or Citrus clementina, also goes by the more common name of clementine. Its loose and easy-to-peel rind has also given it the name of the "kid glove orange." Algerian tangerines are a hybrid of an orange and a mandarin, and is considered a member of the mandarin family, which includes other tangerines, tangelos, and tangors.
Tangerines are very high in Vitamin C, and contain half of the daily recommended value. They are low in most nutrients and in calories, but have some fiber, potassium, and folic acid, as well as two teaspoons of sugar.
As a snack fruit, tangerines are some of the best since they are portable and easy to eat. Simply peel open and remove the white, bitter pith from the flesh. For slightly more complicated preparations, add them to salads, use them as a garnish for main dishes, include in seafood dishes, or bake into desserts. Tangerines are more perishable than other citrus, so keep them at room temperature for two days at most, or a week in the refrigerator.
Tangerines of all types are often part of Chinese New Year celebrations. They are considered symbols of happiness and prosperity, and are eaten and displayed in residences, stores, and offices around the holiday.
The mandarin family of citrus originally came from China, but has traveled all over the world. Tangerines are named after their route of entry into Europe, by way of the port of Tangier in Morocco.
People have spotted Algerian Tangerines using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.