Tangerines: The Sweetest of Oranges

Tangerines are the sweet and intensely flavorful oranges from the citrus family, which makes them an ideal component for summer drinks, zingy desserts, and of course, delicious dipping sauces to pair with meat dishes. Read on to learn more about this captivating citrus fruit. 

What are Tangerines?

The tangerine is an orange variety that’s a hybrid of mandarin oranges with other citrus fruits, notably pomelos. Intriguingly, they were named “tangerine” after the Moroccan city of Tangier, where they were first harvested and distributed to other parts of the world. They offer many benefits over other orange varieties as they are sweeter, less tart, and available from the spring to the autumn season, unlike most oranges that are only available in summers. 

Tangerines are smaller than oranges and bright-orange to reddish-orange in color. Their thin, loose rind makes them super easy to peel by hand. 

Image Credit: Jan Vašek from Pixabay 

Flavor of Tangerines

Flavor-wise, tangerines are sweeter, more intense, and less sour than other varieties in the citrus family. They have a thin, rough orange rind that’s bitter and give off a typical citrusy scent. Texture-wise, tangerines are firm, pulpy, and juicy.

Uses for Tangerines

Tangerines are a versatile citrus that’s added to salads, main courses, sauces, and even desserts. Since tangerines are juicy and intensely sweet, people like to eat them by hand for a quick refreshing snack. Thankfully, tangerines are available in bulk throughout the summer so you can get your fill of chilled tangerine juices, orange tangerine martinis, and tangerine mint margaritas to fight off the scorching summer heat. 

If you’re looking to incorporate tangerines into savory meals, look no further than these hearty sweet, sour, and savory recipes featuring all three flavors in one:

●      Orange Shrimp

●      Cranberry Orange Chicken

      Sheet Pan Pork Chop with Honeynut Squash

●      Salmon with Roasted Fennel and Radish

The tangerine peel is often dried, and grated into tiny flakes to be used in baking, sprinkling over drinks, and even as a spice in meat dishes, and gravies. Tangerines are sold fresh and are also available in juice form, as well as in the frozen tangerine juice concentrates, especially in the United States.

Tangerines can be made into jams, marmalades, sauces, and salad dressings. You can try swapping tangerines in our recipe for Strawberry and Cardamom Slab Scones for a zingy twist. Moreover, tangerine juice and zest can add more depth to our recipes for French Toast Suzette, Creamsicle Bars, and Morning Glory Quick Bread.

Feature Image: Alicja_ from Pixabay 

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