Mandarin

Mandarin

Plural:
Mandarins
Family:
Rutaceae – Citrus Family
Species:
Citrus reticulata

Origin

The genuine Chinese Mandarin probably originates from Indo-china and spread itself to India, Sri Lanca and the Philippines. For a long time, it was cultivated in China and Japan but in the 19th Century it finally spread to Europe, and later to the USA.

Today species of mandarin are cultivated world-wide, in all of the Mediterranean as well as North and South America, South Africa, Australia and also in its Southeast Asiatic homeland.

The term mandarin is a collective term for different species and forms of breeding. Common mandarins are yellow-orange and aromatic, but have many seeds.

Plant

Mandarins grow on evergreen and thorny shrubs or trees that are two to 8 m in height. Since they are rather insensitive to low temperature, they also prosper in the Mediterranean. The plants belong to a group that contains multitudinous varieties — evolved either from a coincidental natural mutation or from systemic crossbreeding. Some characteristics they all share: They are smaller than oranges, easier to peel and their 8 to 12 segments easily separate from each other.

Cultivation

Unfortunately, there has been a continuous decrease in the cultivation of mandarins. Indeed, the fruits taste more aromatic than all of the new breeds and cross-breeds of the clementines, but they contain many cores. Coreless varieties, however, are in great demand.

Importations

From November until February from Italy, Morocco and Spain.

Fruit

Edible:
The flesh.
Inedible:
The treated peel.
Odour and flavour:
The typical flavour of mandarins.
Size and shape:
They are medium sized and flattened at stem and bloom.
Bowl:
The peel is fine pored, thin, smooth and easily separated and coloured light yellow to orange.
Flesh:
It contains up to 25 cores and is delicate, very juicy, sweet and aromatic.
Ripeness:
fruits are evenly colored and peel easily.
Overripe fruits:
the peel begins to putrefy.
Unripe fruits:
The peel is very pale, possibly having green spots and is hard to peel from the flesh.

Storage

Mature fruits are stored for approximately 3 days at room temperature. Like all other citrus fruits, mandarins will not continue to ripen after the harvest.