There are no nutritional differences – they’re all good for you so get stuck in.
There are less than 50 calories in a medium sized mandarin. They are rich in antioxidants, high in Vitamin C, vitamin A and contain a good amount of fibre and calcium.
'Obesity News' has also just posted an article claiming that 'A Tangerine a Day, Keeps Obesity Away' The clever folks at The University of Western Ontario have discovered a substance in tangerines that not only prevents obesity, but also offers protection against type 2 diabetes, and even atherosclerosis, the underlying disease responsible for most heart attacks and strokes.
If that’s all the info you needed then don’t bother reading on but if your inner geek has been sparked or if you’re looking for a little unusual Christmas trivia to impress the in-laws with over roast turkey and pigs-in-blankets the then read on my darlings…
Well it all started in China 4,000 years ago with the mandarin. Priests in Imperial China wore bright orange robes and were the only ones allowed to eat the fruit. Mandarins didn’t make it to Europe until the 18th century.
The tangerine is a type of mandarin and gets its name from those who brought it over to Europe from it’s native Algeria – The Tangiers
The Clementine was also found in Algeria by Father Clement in the 1900’s and it’s a cross between a mandarin and a sweet orange making it slightly sweeter than an orange. These are usually seedless, making then popular in the UK and US but not in the Mediterranean where seedless fruit is thought by some to cause impotence! Well I would never of made that link!
The Satsuma (my personal favourite) is a type of mandarin with a more delicate flavour from Japan. In Japan they are known as Mikan and there are more than 100 different varieties. We know them as Satsuma’s thanks to the wife of General Van Valkenberg, who was rather partial to the little fruit and so had a few trees sent home to The States. Sadly the Satsuma is dying a death in the UK and US these days as it’s a fragile little fellow that bruises easily and supermarkets are taking preference on the hardier cousin Clementine. Supermarkets spoil everything!
So there you have it. A brief history of the mandarin family! If this comes up in trivial pursuit or a Christmas cracker then you’re going to look cooler than Mick Jagger (Just because it rhymes)
On a separate note does anyone know why there are so many orange coloured fruits in season in winter? Persimmon, mandarins…well that might be it but it seems like I eat a lot of orange foods at this time of year. Do you remember when that little girl drank so much Sunny D that she turned orange? It stuck with me that! Stay away from those chemical versions of OJ. Makes me shudder.