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Tangelos: The Juicy Mandarin-Pomelo Hybrids

Tangelos can add more color and flavor to your salads, meals, and most importantly, cocktails. Read on to discover more about this sweet-citrusy fruit.

What is Tangelo?

Tangelo is a hybrid of tangerine or mandarin with pomelo or grapefruit. Tangelos are dark orange and look pretty much like a standard orange in size and appearance. However, they can be distinguished from other orange varieties by the characteristic pointed peel at the stem end. Tangelo got its name by combining the “tang-” in “tangerine” with the “-elo” in “pomelo”, thus giving us “tang-elo”, a sweet-tart citrus fruit with lots of juice. 

Tangelos are easy to peel and prized for their longer shelf life. The very first tangelo oranges were cultivated in Florida in the 19th century by cross-breeding Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) and Citrus reticulata (mandarin). These refreshing citrus fruits come in different types based on region, shape, and flavor. However, the Minneola, Nova, and Orlando are the most common tangelo varieties. 

Flavor of Tangelo 

Tangelos are sweet and tarty and are juicier than other orange varieties. Where the sweet flavor comes from tangerines, their tanginess is purely attributed to the grapefruit. Tangelo may differ in flavor depending the variety. 

While Nova is a sweeter variety with darker pulp, Minneola oranges are only mildly sweet and seedless. Orlando tangelos, on the other hand, are sweeter with bright colored pulp and contain fewer seeds. 

Uses of Tangelo

The simplest way of enjoying this satisfying citrus hybrid is definitely via freshly squeezed tangelo fruit juice. If you’re looking for some fancy tangelo drinks, tangelo sidecar, tangelo caipiroska, or a French tangelo gin rose spritzer will surely cheer you up. Tangelo fruit can be used to prepare any dish which calls for oranges and/or grapefruits. 

Tangelos are often used in salads, sauces, and dressings. Tangelos can be utilized in side dishes like tangelo salsa, tangelo dip, tangelo citrus salad, and green vegetable salad. Intriguingly, tangelos work nicely in savory-tangy dishes such as in stir-frys or alongside roasted chicken. Try out our favorite cranberry orange chicken, but replace the oranges with a more powerful tarty-juicy punch of tangelos.

Similar to other citrus fruits, tangelo zest and pulp are used to prepare sweet desserts like cakes, tarts, and cookies. Moreover, tangelo marmalade, jam, and chutneys are other great ways of devouring this citrus delight. Whatever way you may consume tangelos, they will never fail to please the taste buds with their refreshing citrus flavor.

Feature Image: Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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