Clementines

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Clementines

A clementine is a variety of mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata), named in 1902. The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. Clementines separate easily into eight to fourteen juicy segments. They are very easy to peel, like a tangerine, but lack the tangerine's seeds. Clementines are also known as seedless tangerines, although occasionally they do contain a few seeds.

The traditional story is that it was "originally an accidental hybrid said to have been discovered by Father Clément Rodier in the garden of his orphanage in Misserghin, Algeria." However, there are claims it originated in China much earlier. James Saunt writes: "Some authorities believe it is virtually identical to the variety known as the Canton mandarin widely grown in Guangxi and Guangdong Provinces in China."

The Clementine is not always distinguished from other varieties of mandarin oranges: in German, it is generally referred to as "Mandarine". However, it should not be confused with similar fruit such as the satsuma, which is another name for the Japanese mikan, and is another popular variety. The clementine is occasionally referred to as Algerian tangerine.

Clementines lose their desirable seedless characteristic when bees cross-pollinate them with other fruit. In early 2006 large growers such as Paramount Citrus in California threatened to sue local beekeepers for their bees' trespass into clementine crop land. Clementines are typically shipped in small wooden or cardboard boxes with a move in recent years to net bags.

Removing the wax coating from clementines

non organic citrus fruit is coated with a thin layer of wax (either petroleum based or natural), which prevents water loss and therefore extends the shelf life. Wax is also used for aesthetic reasons. Apparently, as consumers, we demand shiny fruit. Organic fruit is not waxed as that would not be permitted under organic standards.

Here are a couple of methods that you can use to remove wax from a clementine:

Boiling water
  • Place fruit in a colander
  • Boil a kettle & leave to cool for 5 minutes
  • Pour over the fruit
  • Using gloves to protect your hands from the heat, scrub the fruit with a small brush
  • Rinse with cold water and wipe dry with paper towels
Microwave
  • Microwave fruit for 10 seconds
  • Using gloves to protect your hands from the heat, scrub the fruit with a small brush
  • Rinse with cold water and wipe dry with paper towels

How much does one cup of clementine flesh weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Clementine flesh segments/large pieces/ flesh only
1
225 grams 8 ounces

Conversion notes:
Every ingredient has a cups to ounces or grams conversion table. Search for the ingredient, cup to weight conversions are at the end of each ingredient page.

We also have a generic conversion table and a portions per person lookup.

Seasonal Information: Clementines

This information is specifically for countries in the northern temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere; particularly the United Kingdom, however it should be applicable for northern USA, northern Europe, Canada, Russia, etc.

Clementines are at their best and in season during the following months: December & January.


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