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Florida Produce: Tangerines

April 12, 2010

Also known as a mandarin orange, tangerines are small, dark orange fruits with smooth skin. They have a rich and sweet flavor. Florida grows several tangerine varieties including Honey or Murcott, Fallglo, Sunburst and Dancy. Tangerines are available from September to April, with the peak production time from the end of October to mid-November.

How to buy:
Tangerines should feel soft and puffy compared to oranges yet should still be heavy for their size; otherwise they might be dry. Try to choose fruit with glossy and deep orange skins.

Tips for storage:
Store up to two weeks in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Florida tangerines will last much longer under refrigeration; temperatures from 45 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit are best. Plastic bags or film-wrapped trays should not be used when storing citrus. Citrus needs to breathe so there is no need to store in an airtight container. When stored properly, citrus can last four to five days.

Cooking & Tips:
The skin of a tangerine is usually very easy to peel. Once peeled, the sections should separate very easily as well. You can peel the membrane off the outside of the sections and remove the pits if desired. Tangerines can be eaten as a snack or added to salads. You can also use tangerines in stir-fries, in a vinaigrette, as a marinade or when cooking seafood.

Flavors well with:
Honey, yogurt, basil, lettuce, seafood, avocado, ginger, grilled meats, tea

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