24 January 2009

Clementines



If you haven't tried a clementine orange, you are missing one of the sweetest little treasures of the orange world. They have an enticing aroma, are juicy, tender and oh so sweet. Even after they are peeled you can pick up the peel and the aroma still lingers in the peel.

Pure pleasure in each and every bite.

History

The origin of clementines is shrouded in mystery. Some attribute their discovery to father Clement, a monk in Algeria, who tending his mandarin garden in the orphanage of Misserghim, found a natural mutation. He nurtured the fruit tree and subsequently called it "clementino". Others, like Japanese botanist Tanaka, believe that clementines must have originated in Asia and found their way through human migration to the Mediterranean. Whatever their origin, the fact is that clementines found their natural climate and soil in Spain, where they developed their particular aroma, sweetness and taste. Commercial production of clementines began in Spain in 1925. Today there are 161,000 acres dedicated to the cultivation of clementines.

Clementine's are the tiniest of the mandarins. Imported from Spain, Morocco, and other parts of North Africa, clementines are a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin. They are small, very sweet, and usually seedless. Most people think of clementines as small tangerines, but they're a different variety entirely, with a distinctive taste. The Clementine is an excellent eating orange. Its small size and lack of seeds make it particularly popular with kids. Clementines have been available in Europe for many years, but the market for them in the United States was made only a few years ago.

All I know is these are the yummiest little treats ever and I just love pulling them out of the refrigerator, slowing peeling the soft orange skin from the flesh and popping a segment into my mouth. The sweetest taste ever!

Tomorrow I shop for groceries and a bag of clementines are on the top of my list.

15 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Guess I'll have to keep my eyes open for them as you have my mouth watering.

Rosa said...

I love these. It reminds me I forgot to order honey bells this year! Wonder if they're still in season! Ooops. What beautiful country you live in. I'm originally from Arlington, VA.

Tanya said...

Clementines always make me think of Huckleberry Hound :)

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

And they look great in that blue bowl! Contrasting colors... how sweet.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Titania said...

I knew Clementines in Switzerland. They were very special and we loved them. I have never seen them here in Australia. thank you for your post, I didn't know where they originally came from. Here we have many different oranges and mandarins in the garden but no Clementines.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! I've never heard of these before. Are they grown in the US now?

Mmmmm! There is something so wonderful about juicy sweet fruit eaten in winter. It's like tasting summer on your tongue!

Enjoy one for me.
~Lisa

WV: 'motions'

She goes through the motions of peeling an orange... lol!

The Good Life in Virginia said...

picked up my latest supply of clementines are they came from morocco.

they are a mediterranean fruit so most likely if they were to be grown in the US it would be in california, florida or even texas. i have not found any to date that are US grown.

this latest batch are larger than the last...but, still tasty.

have a great day everyone

erin

ParisBreakfasts said...

I LOVE Clemmies AND they are supposed to be good for you according to the BBC!
One of winter's joys...

The Whispering Poppies said...

We LOVE clementines! It's one of the only fruits my little ones will eat (willingly, that is)! Hmmmm I wonder how one would taste turned into sorbet?! mmmmm

ShabbyInTheCity said...

We just had our first ones ever! I so agree with your evaluation :) SO amazing in taste and I was thrilled that they didn't drip!

Tom Atkins said...

I've loved these things for ages, but had no idea of the history. thanks for the lesson!

Daryl said...

they are the best .. and aside from the delightful taste they have NO seeds!

Susie of Arabia said...

I love Clementines - great post!

Baruch said...

Love clementines - can make a meal out them

ed said...
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