Tangerines

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Tangerine

The tangerine (Citrus × tangerina) is an orange- or red-coloured citrus fruit. It is a variety of the mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata). Tangerines are smaller than most oranges, and the skin of some varieties will peel off more easily. The taste is often less sour, or tart, than that of an orange.

Good quality tangerines will be firm to slightly soft, heavy for their size, and pebbly-skinned with no deep grooves, as well as orange in colour. Peak tangerine season is short, lasting from November to January in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Honey tangerine, originally called a murcott, is very sweet, as its name suggests. Other popular kinds include the sunburst tangerines and Fairchild tangerines.

One of the oldest and most popular varieties is the Dancy tangerine, but it is no longer widely grown. The Dancy was known as the zipper-skin tangerine, and also as the kid-glove orange, for its loose, pliable peel. Its peak season is December, so children would often receive one in their Christmas stockings. For this reason it is commonly known as a 'Christmas Orange'.

Tangerines are most commonly peeled and eaten out of hand. The fresh fruit is also used in salads, desserts and main dishes.

Historically, the name tangerine comes from Tangier, Morocco, a port from which the first tangerines were shipped to Europe. The adjective tangerine, from Tangier or Tanger, was first recorded as an English word in 1710.

A popular alternative to tangerines are clementines, which are also a variant of the mandarin orange.

Removing the wax coating from tangerines

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 tangerines:

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 tangerine flesh weigh?

Estimated US cup to weight equivalents:

Ingredient US Cups Grams Ounces
Tangerine 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.