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Tangerines: Satsuma Versus Clementine

Tangerines: Satsuma Versus Clementine

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It’s not surprising that just as people have favorite sports teams, hometown hangouts, or colors, they have favorite tangerines as well. The winter citrus season is full of wonderful varieties that become available at different times, but the first two out of the gate, satsuma mandarins and clementine tangerines, always seem to trigger the "which is best" debate. The truth is, both are immensely popular and come into season at the perfect time as many summer fruits are vanishing from our produce departments.

If measured by an increase in U.S. production, the clementine would be the hands-down winner. About 15 years ago, most of the clementines sold in the U.S. came from Europe. In fact, if you live on the East coast, chances are good that much of the fruit available to you is still coming from Spain and Morocco later in the season. But as the popularity of this small, sweet tangerine increased, the variety also came to the attention of domestic growers and proved to be extremely prolific, particularly in the California Central valley. But despite the success of clementines, they still run a distant second in the eyes of the loyal satsuma fan base (particularly on the west coast).

Part of the appeal for both varieties is they are extremely easy to peel. Their "zipper-skins" make this fruit slightly different from most citrus. Ideally you should avoid oranges, grapefruits, and lemons that are soft and puffy. Not the case with clementines and satsumas, as fruit that is slightly soft to the touch is a normal (even desired) characteristic of the fruit. Both can be kept at room temperature or can be refrigerated if you want to stretch your supply at home to a week or more.

Clementines and satsumas come at the perfect time for salads, snacks, and entertaining. They make a perfect seasonal alternative to tomatoes as the field season and varieties wind down for the winter. The sweet, slightly acidic flavor makes for a great replacement for cherry tomatoes and you really haven’t had Chinese chicken salad until you’ve made it with fresh satsumas. But mostly, they are great as a snack that anyone can peel and everyone will enjoy. Both are available most everywhere through January, weather permitting, so find your favorite today.

— James Parker

Comparison of Clementine and Satsuma Citrus

Citrus breeding, by crossing sub-groups within the same group of plants and also by crossing groups from different varietal categories, has produced a smorgasbord of fruits. Clementine and Satsuma, both of which are classified as Citrus reticulata, are mandarin citrus fruit varieties that share common characteristics but subtle differences. Mandarins are also commonly called tangerines because of a reputed link to plant parentage from Tangiers.

Tangerines vs Mandarins

Before the internet, arguments about the difference between tangerines vs mandarins would last forever.

But now it can be revealed that the difference is not much really. In fact, the words mandarins and tangerines are largely used interchangeably.

The reason is that tangerines are actually a type of mandarin. So, how do you know whether you're eating a tangerine or just another regular mandarin?

Well, you can identify a tangerine by the thinner-skin around the juicy bits inside. It's also a slighter brighter orange and a little larger as well.

Nutrition Profile of Clementines

Clementine vitamin C content is not the only nutritional benefit of this citrus fruit. They are naturally low in calories and fat, making them suitable for low-calorie and low-fat diets.

However, clementines are also naturally low in other vitamins and minerals. Though they are not a significant source of many nutrients, clementines are still worth snacking on for the sweet flavor and vitamin C.

According to the USDA, one regular-sized clementine contains the following nutrition:

  • 35 calories
  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 8.9 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.6 grams of protein
  • 40 percent daily value (DV) of vitamin C
  • 4 percent DV of folate

Clementines are also a great source of fiber and water content. Though clementines are high in natural sugar, this should not deter people with diabetes or people on a sugar-free diet from enjoying clementines and reaping their health benefits. People on a low-calorie diet can also consume clementines, though followers of low-carb diets may want to limit consumption.


To start with, the term 'mandarin' is in fact a blanket term for many different varieties of these small orange citrus fruits.

But many mandarin varieties are actually hybrids of pomelos or sweet oranges, and most of the ones we pick up from the supermarket are not actually 'true,' or 'pure' mandarins.

Take the test below and see how many varieties you can identify from just the picture!

1. What type of fruit is this? It's a variety of mandarin orange - but can you identify it from its dark red skin?

This fruit has tangy segments with a very distinctive flavour - so can you guess what variety of mandarin orange this is?

These citrus fruits have a slightly lighter skin than the mandarins in number one, so can you identify them?

This fruit has virtually no seeds - so which kind of mandarin could it be?

There's not much pith in this variety of mandarin orange and it's entirely seedless - so which type of fruit is it?

This fruit is much milder in flavour and has a lighter skin than some of its distant relatives - so can you identify it?

This mandarin has raised bumps on the tip - do you know which type of citrus fruit this is?

This fruit is probably the hardest to guess right. It's actually a type of bitter orange rather than a mandarin and is virtually inedible

The 'tangerine' label is often used interchangeably with mandarins - but technically speaking, a tangerine is its own variety of mandarin orange.

To keep it simple - all tangerines are considered types of mandarin, but not all mandarins are tangerines.

What sets a tangerine apart from its sister fruits is the deep-coloured skin, the darkest of all the mandarin oranges.

Miriam Roughsedge, Co-op's senior fruit buyer, says: 'When peeled they reveal rich and tangy segments that are very distinctive in flavour.'

Clementines, meanwhile, have a richly coloured orange skin that is slightly lighter than the tangerine. They are also seedless.

Roughsedge comments: 'They are very sweet and juicy, containing virtually no seeds. The fruit is a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange.'

Satsumas have a pale orange skin, hardly any pith, and are much milder in flavour than its tangerine and clementine cousins.

How many could you get right? Tangerines (pictured) have the darkest skin, with clementines being seedless and satsumas having a much lighter skin

'The segments are small and juicy and do not contain pips,' says Roughsedge.

'The fruit originates from Japan, where they are known as the unshu mikan, and were introduced to Florida in 1878.'

What’s The Difference Between Oranges, Mandarins, Satsumas, Clementines, Tangerines?

Unsure of the differences between these small citrus fruits, many people confuse often oranges, mandarins, Tangerines, Clementines, and Satsumas. In fact, throughout the United States, the terms mandarin and tangerine are used interchangeably, even though they are not the same thing. While a tangerine is a type of mandarin, not all mandarins are tangerines.

But the confusion isn’t really a surprise, as the Citrus Variety Collection of the University of California has 167 different hybrids and varieties of mandarins listed.

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between these popular and delicious citrus fruits:

  • Oranges are second in size to the grapefruit. This citrus fruit has a thick skin, is round in shape, and has a tart flavor.
  • Mandarins are a type of orange and the overarching category that Tangerines, Clementines, and Satsumas fall into. They are generally smaller and sweeter than oranges, a little flatter in shape, and they and have a thinner, looser skin that makes them easier to peel.
  • Tangerines are a specific type of mandarin orange. They are a bright orange color, slightly tougher skins, and their flavor is a little less sweet and a bit more tart.
  • Clementines are the smallest type of mandarin orange. They are super sweet, seedless, and have red-orange skins that are smooth and shiny. The mandarins you see in grocery stores called Cuties and Sweeties are Clementines. They are easier to peel than tangerines, but not as easy to peel as Satsumas.
  • Satsuma Mandarins are a specific type of mandarin orange, originating in Japan more than 700 years ago. They are a lighter orange, sweet, juicy, and seedless. They are also the easiest variety to peel. The most tender, easily damaged type of mandarin, Satsuma mandarin oranges are harder to find fresh in stores.

At S & J Mandarin Grove, we primarily grow and ship certified organic Owari Satsuma Mandarins.

We also have a small number of super sweet Clementine mandarin trees that ripen later in the season. We only sell this small variety at our Newcastle, California orchard and at the Sacramento Certified Farmers’ Market. Come visit us.

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22 Fruits High in Potassium - A Ranking from Highest to Lowest

Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (high blood pressure).

Overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible, however, it is possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even cardiac arrest. Potassium from fruits, like the ones listed below, are considered safe and healthy.

For those with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who need to lower their potassium, this list can serve as a guide on what fruits to eat or avoid depending on your own restrictions. Most people with CKD should not consume more than 200mg of potassium per serving, or 2000mg per day. This article can only be used as a guide, but the amount of potassium you eat each day should be set by your care provider. See also our list of low potassium foods for more ideas.

Fruits high in potassium include avocados, guavas, kiwifruit, cantaloupe, bananas, pomegranate, apricots, cherries, and oranges. The current daily value (%DV) for potassium is 4700mg, recently increased from 3500mg by the FDA.

Below is a list of fruits high in potassium, for more, see the extended lists of potassium rich fruits, dried fruits high in potassium, and articles on high potassium foods and high potassium vegetables.

Know These 12 Citrus Varieties And When They Are In Season

Get your hands on all these varieties while you still can.

When we think about the transition from winter to spring, a time when the chafing March winds start to concede their fury and sunshine begins to stick around, we think about citrus. It also might be all this talk about spring training, the Grapefruit League and all. Head to your local grocery store, particularly in late-winter, and you will find an abundance of tangerines, grapefruits, clementines and oranges. We hit the well-stocked Fairway in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood and bought everything in sight. Here’s what we found out about each of these 12 varieties.

Blood orange: Crimson flesh bursting with staining juice is the trademark of this popular citrus. There are three types — Moro, Tarocco and Sanguinello — with a flavor that ranges from tart to semi-sweet depending on the type and season. Because of its unique color, the blood orange is often incorporated into recipes, from cocktails to preserves. It’s also the inspiration for a pretty stellar London-based singer-songwriter.
In season: December-April

Cara Cara: How many menus have we seen as of late featuring the cara cara? Many. Chefs love this pink-fleshed navel orange for its sweet juice accented with an underlying zip (though with lower acidity than other navel oranges).
In season: December-April

Clementine: The clementine is a cross between a mandarin and sweet orange, simple to peel and almost always seedless (as opposed to the seedy tangerine). The juice is sweeter than many oranges and there is far less acid, making it one of the most popular snacking citrus fruits available. Unlike much of the citrus listed here, clementine season is very short and typically peaks around the holidays, imparting the nickname “Christmas orange.”
In season: November-January

Golden Nugget Mandarin: Smaller than the Murcott and classic Mandarin, but bursting with juice and sweetness. There are no seeds.
In season: March-June

Juice/Sweet orange: This is the real workhorse citrus. The Valencia or Hamlin is not always pretty (battered, faded by the sun, scuffed by poor handling), but the flesh is what’s important. When squeezed and pressed, out flows the breakfast staple.
In season: January-Novemeber

Heirloom navel: Like the name suggests, this is the navel that made the citrus industry an industry in California. And unlike the standard navel orange, which you will find in grocery stores year round, the heirloom is available only in the winter and early spring months.
In season: December-March

Murcott Mandarin: A cross between a tangerine and a sweet orange. The rind is thin and peels easily. “The flavor is very rich and sprightly,” notes the UC-Riverside Citrus Variety collection. It is sometimes called the honey tangerine.
In season: January-April

Ruby Red grapefruit: This grapefruit — closely associated with the Star Ruby and Rio Red — is mostly grown in Texas as is sweeter and juicer than other types.
In season: October-April

Seville sour orange: This variety is sometimes called the bitter orange and commonly used in the production of marmalade. The Seville is tart and grown throughout the Mediterranean. It’s also the a key ingredient in the orange-flavored liqueur Triple Sec.
In season: December-April

Tangerine: As mentioned, the tangerine is a close cousin to the clementine. They’re small, sweet and very snackable (which is why you likely found these packed in your lunch as a child). The big difference is sweetness — the tangerine has less — and seeds. The tangerine has more seeds. Many more.
In season: October-January

White grapefruit: It wasn’t until 1948 when scientists classified the grapefruit as a cross between the pomelo (long native of Southeast Asia) and the orange — though the first groves were planted near Tampa in 1823. This is the most common grapefruit found in grocery stores and good for juicing or eating with one of those cool spoons.
In season: April-June

Satsuma Mandarins Are The Best Citrus

My family moved around a lot, but one constant at Christmastime at my parents’ house is Satsuma mandarins—in a fruit bowl in the kitchen, or in the toe of my stocking. They come into season in November, hit the grocery shelves just after Thanksgiving and they are the best citrus by about a mile and a half.

Satsumas are mandarins, but they are not to be confused with clementines, oranges, or even tangerines (more on that later). They’re sweet like honey, with just the tiniest bit of acid, and the flesh of the fruit itself—those pulp things are called JUICE VESICLES—is incredibly tender. Their skins are loose and almost leathery looking and they are insanely easy to peel, almost like they come pre-peeled from the inside. They don’t have much of that white pith stuff, also known known as mesocarp or albedo. They’re a perfect winter treat at any time of day and they’re so small and fun-size you can eat two or three of them.


Get out of my face with your Sweeties® and your Cuties®.

Cuties® are the mass-market paperbacks of citrus fruits, and by the way they are actually clementines. Clementines are technically a hybrid of the Mandarin orange species (Citrus reticulata) and the sweet orange, which is actually a hybrid between the pomelo and the Mandarin orange. Are you confused yet?

Citrus is the genus, but very few of the fruits we know are actual species—most of them are hybrids. Citrus taxonomy is wild (Google the Swingle system), but basically everything is part pomelo or part Mandarin or part Citron, mixed with some other shit. That’s how you get those Buddha’s hands things and finger limes. Yeah, finger limes. Alllll of these things are total fucking mutants.

Here is a helpful primer on Mandarins:

The master category that these fruits fall into is Mandarin oranges or “Mandarins.” Compared to oranges in general, Mandarins tend to be smaller in size, have a looser peel, and are less tart. They originated in the Far East and were originally exported through North Africa, where they were all tagged with the name “tangerine,” from the city of Tangiers. However, the name “tangerine” has become less generic and is now usually applied to only one kind of Mandarin orange as stores have come to market the different cultivars — so while all tangerines are Mandarins, not all Mandarins are tangerines.

Clementines are hybrids of Mandarin oranges and sweet oranges. But they’re often called “seedless tangerines,” which is admittedly confusing. Anyway, not to be racist or anything but Satsuma mandarins are a pure genetic treasure, and badass for many reasons.

Image: catherinecronin

The Satsuma’s Latin name is straight-up Sino-Japanese: Citrus unshiu. The Chinese name, Wenzhou migan, means “honey citrus of Wenzhou,” a city in the Zheijang Province. The English name for the fruit is the province in Japan it comes from, and it was brought to America by the clever Jesuits. They also brought the fruit to the U.S. by way of Louisiana.

They’re extremely cold hardy and can withstand major frosts. They don’t pack or travel too well because of that whole “loose skin” situation, so the quality control on these babes is A+, you basically get what you see (nobody likes a bad-citrus surprise). The Wikipedia entry for unshius reads, “the satsuma also has particularly delicate flesh, which cannot withstand the effects of careless handling.” Same.

Their skin and juice has a beautiful, deep red-orange color that is not unlike that of the yolk of a fresh and omegaful farm egg. Somehow this makes a ton of sense on the nature-ripeness scale of green to red, where green is a bitter, tough, tight, unripe fruit, and red is a tender and sweet fruit at the absolute peak of its deliciousness, before it turns and its sugars ferment into some sort of booze.

Cuties® and Sweeties® are first of all, branded, and second of all not very delicious or consistent. Sometimes those fuckers have seeds in them. Sometimes they’re all dry and tight and shriveled and neither juicy nor sweet. Sometimes they taste like nothing at all. Their skin is all taut and shiny and yes they seem convenient and they come in a cute box with a picture of a fruit getting UNZIPPED and they’re miniature fun-size, but they also have a website and a fucking Snapchat channel. Like I said, get out.

Image: Kanko

Behold, winter’s perfect, loose-skinned, thornless beauties. They grow from seed, and they take about eight years to produce fruit. Chōzaburō Tanaka, a Japanese botanist and biologist concluded the place of origin of Satsuma is in the Kagoshima prefecture of Japan, where it was a “chance seedling” of one of three possible citruses from Huangyan district of Zhejiang, in China, and appeared in the early Edo period, around the early seventeenth century.

Pick some up at the grocery store I promise you won’t be disappointed. They’re perfect little berries of liquid gold, and for a brief second or three, eating one will make you feel happy. There’s also a little afterglow with the peel, which gives off a lovely, round perfume. Then you throw it all away and get on with your miserable life. Happy Holidays!

What's the Difference Between Clementines and Oranges?

Clementines are, in a word, cute, and upon first glance, you might think that clementines are just tiny oranges. But the difference between clementines and oranges is more significant than size and adorableness. Yes, clementines are smaller than oranges, but they&aposre also sweeter with a thinner skin that&aposs generally easier to peel. Clementines are less acidic than your grocery store-variety oranges, as well. The reason for these differences between oranges and clementines is simple. Clementine and oranges are actually two different varieties of citrus fruits. Clementines are more closely related to mandarin oranges, also known as tangerines, which are known "to be relatively small and flat, with a reddish, easily peeled rind," explains Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking: The Science And Lore Of The Kitchen.

Though mandarins oranges were first cultivated over 3,000 years ago in India and China, clementines are a relatively new variety of citrus fruit. They were developed in 1902 by a French missionary living in Algeria named Father Clément Rodier. And though clementines are derived from mandarin oranges, there are differences between clementines and mandarins. Clementines tend to be rounder in shape than traditional mandarin oranges or tangerines, and the skin of clementines are more oily.

Despite these differences, however, the best substitute for clementines is still mandarin oranges or tangerines, not navel oranges. Nigella Lawson recommends that you make a one-to-one substitute for fresh mandarin oranges for fresh clementines, and cook the fruit in the same way—though she does note that mandarins tend to have seeds while clementines don&apost. If you can&apost find either fresh clementines or fresh tangerines, maybe because they&aposre of season, the experts at MyRecipes recommend that you "substitute 2 (29-ounce) cans of mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained" for every 10 to 12 clementines.

But really, the best way to enjoy a clementine and everything that makes it different from an orange or a tangerine or even a mandarin orange is to eat it fresh, straight out of the peel.

Watch the video: Find The Sock Containing A Satsuma. Full Task. Taskmaster (August 2022).