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The Lee mandarin is a delicate oblate fruit with a deep orange leathery rind filled with aromatic essential oils. Its skin clings slightly to its flesh, making it difficult to peel. Its flesh is extremely sweet, juicy and tender. It bears several seeds to its twelve to fourteen segments.
These particular mandarins are available from late spring through early to mid-summer.
The Lee tangerine, botanically classified as Citrus reticulate, is a hybrid of the clementine mandarin and the Orlando tangelo. The Lee tangerine tree is relatively cold hardy, driving grower interest after the 1980's citrus freezes. The Lee tangerines peel color develops slowly, staying green long after the fruit has matured.
Lee mandarins may be used as a substitute for clementines or honey tangerines. As they contain seeds this variety is ideal for juicing but because of their sweetness they may also used in fresh preparations. Add to green or fruit salads or use the juice and zest as an ingredient in jams, curds and syrups. Pair with fresh herbs, honey, aged cheeses, peppery greens and citrus. Lee mandarins will keep at room temperature but should be refrigerated for longer storage.
The Lee mandarin was developed by Gardner and Bellows in 1942 at the United States Department of Agriculture Laboratory in Orlando, Florida. It was released for commercial production in 1959. It has minor commercial status though. It can be found growing in coastal citrus growing regions of Florida and Southern California and is sold in limited quantities as a farmers market citrus.
Someone spotted Lee 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.
PCC Natural Markets
PCC Natural Markets - FremontNear Seattle, Washington, United States
600 N 34th St, Seattle 98103
About 265 days ago, 1/30/16
Spotter's comments : Lee Tangerines spotted at PCC Natural Markets. Cross between a Clementine and Orlando tangelo, the tender rind is sometimes difficult to peel and is really ideal for juicing!