This "First of the Season" tangerine is known for its "zipper skin." The Fairchild displays a good orange exterior with a bright orange interior. The texture will vary from smooth to somewhat pebbly and the fruit has seeds. Fairchild Tangerines are available from mid October to mid January.
The first mandarin of the season. The Satsuma peels and segments easily. The exterior will display a light orange color and perhaps a tinge of green, but the interior will be a bright orange. The Satsuma is pebbly in texture and varies in shape from flat to necked. All supplies are grown and shipped from the San Joaquin Valley of California. Satsuma Mandarins are available from mid October to late December.
Oro Blancos are a cross between a white grapefruit and an acidless pummelo. Early in the season they can be readily identified by their bright green exterior. With this variety, green is good. As the season progresses, green turns to golden yellow. In either case the Oro Blanco is ripe, sweet, and ready to eat. Oro Blancos are as big or bigger than a medium sized grapefruit, generally round to flat round, with a slightly thicker rind than a grapefruit. The most notable characteristic of an Oro Blanco is the flavor. It eats sweet and the flesh lacks the bitterness sometimes associated with grapefruit. Those that have sampled them describe the flavor as a grapefruit with the sugar already added. Oro Blancos are available from the end of October to mid April.
The Sweetie represents a new twist on citrus. This tasty cousin of the grapefruit is in peak season from mid-January to mid-March. Sweeties are golden yellow when fully ripe and are known for their very distinct sweet flavor, hence the name. Sweeties are an excellent source of Vitamin B1, which helps the body metabolize carbohydrates for energy. They make a refreshingly sweet, healthy snack and are great for adding flavor to salads and marinades.
Pummelos, sometimes referred to as a "Shaddock" or "Chinese grapefruit", are botanically known as "Citrus Grandis", the largest citrus fruit. Pummelos closely resemble grapefruit. They grow to be as big or bigger than a grapefruit, have a thick yet smooth green to yellow skin (green is good), firm flesh and are generally round to pear shape. Pummelos commonly have from 16 to 18 segments, while most grapefruit have about 12 segments. Interior color will vary from white to deep pink. The taste of pummelo is unique, aromatic, sweeter and less acidic than grapefruit. They have large segments that are firm & juicy. Pummelos are available from end of October to the beginning of April
Clementine/W. Murcott Mandarin/California Mandarin (Sunkist Smiles®)
These mandarins have a crisp apricot nectar flavor and a rich "raisin-y" aftertaste. They are medium-sized with a smooth, glossy exterior and deep orange, juicy interior. Seedless and easy to peel, Sunkist Smiles® clementines and mandarins continue to be a favorite treat for lunches, snacks, salads, and recipes. Their small size is big on flavor and convenience.
This early maturing tangelo is noted for its juicy, mild, sweet flavor. Orlandos are flat-round in shape and larger in size. California/Arizona Orlandos have a slightly pebbled texture, good interior and exterior color, very few seeds and a tight fitting rind. Orlando Tangelos are available from mid November to the beginning of February.
Cara Cara Navel
The Cara Cara originating from South America is a true navel and not a cross of any other citrus variety. Cara Cara Navels generally have a rich pink pulp, accompanied with an orange exterior. The interior is extremely sweet with a relatively low acid content and are virtually seedless. Cara Cara Navels are available from December through March.
Melo Golds, a close cousin to the Oro Blanco, are also a cross between a white grapefruit and an acidless pummelo. Like the Oro Blancos, they sport a bright green exterior early in the season, and, as the season progresses, the green changes to a golden yellow. No matter what the color, the Melo Gold is ripe, sweet, and ready to eat. Melo Golds are much bigger than a medium sized grapefruit and usually have a thicker rind than a grapefruit. Its sweet flavor is the most notable characteristic of a Melo Gold. Like the Oro Blanco, Melo Golds eat sweet and lack the bitterness sometimes associated with grapefruit. In fact, many say it tastes like a grapefruit with the sugar already sprinkled on top. Melo Golds are available from December to mid April.
Moro oranges generally have a bright red to deep maroon interior color and an orange exterior overlaid with a red blush. They have a distinctive flavor described as a rich orange taste with overtones of raspberries. They tend to be small in size, fairly easy to peel and have few if any seeds. The "Moro" is by far the most popular blood orange. Moro's have excellent color and thrive in California's sunny interior valleys. Moro Oranges are available from December through May.
The Dancy Tangerine rind is deep reddish-orange, thin and easily removed. The juice is rich and sweet. Dancy's have a moderate amount of seeds. Dancy Tangerines are available from mid December through January.
Minneolas are easily identified by the knob-like formation at the stem end. This fruit tends to grow large in size and will display a deep red-orange exterior color. They have a delicious tart-sweet flavor. Minneolas have a smooth to slightly pebbled texture, peel very easily, and have few if any seeds. Minneola Tangelos are available from mid December through April.
Previously marketed as Kinnow mandarins, but renamed to correctly identify their Honey Mandarin parentage, the honey has a rich, aromatic, and distinctive flavor. They peel and segment easily, and are extremely juicy. The fruit is thin skinned, slightly flattened with no neck and are smooth, almost glossy, in texture. Honey Mandarins are available from mid January through April.
Royals are a "Tangor" or sometimes referred to as a "Temple" Orange. The Royal Mandarin is one of the larger sized seasonal specialty fruits available. They are red-orange in color, with a slightly rough skin and few seeds. It is easy to peel with a spicy-sweet flavor. Royal Mandarins are available from mid January to mid March.
Shasta Gold Mandarin
Shasta Golds have bright flesh and a rich, sweet flavor. They are typically larger than other mandarins, with a bumpy rind and deep, orange color. These mandarins are a late season variety, available mid-March to Mid-April. They are great for snacking as they are easy to peel and seedless. Be quick though, they're only available for a short time!
Gold Nugget Mandarin
The Gold Nugget variety of mandarins is deliciously sweet with a bright orange, seedless interior. This late season variety originally received its name from its beautiful, bright and slightly bumpy rind. They are easy to peel and separate into segments. With their incredibly juicy taste, they brighten up salads and desserts, while also being a great lunchbox snack. They are available from March through May.
Ojai Pixie Tangerine
Its versatility makes it a premium citrus for lunch boxes, salads and dessert. Pixie Tangerines are sweet, seedless and moderately juicy for a deliciously healthy snack the whole family will enjoy. Varying in shape, size and peel texture, Pixies are generally small (1 - 3 inches in diameter), have pebbly, light orange skin and are easy to peel and segment. The origin of the Pixie tangerine is shrouded in mystery. This mysterious origin helps make the Pixie deliciously unique. It is available from March through May.