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Food Tip of the Week: Clementines

Food Tip of the Week: Clementines

   From ancient times Clementines have been called the crown jewels of the mandarin family. The name mandarin applies to a number of citrus fruits that have a peel that is easily pulled from the flesh. Sometimes called zipper skinned, clementines were once referred to as kid-glove oranges because it was said that a lady could eat the fruit without soiling her hands.

There are five main varieties of clementines. They are the Marisol, the Oroval, the Arafatina, the Nules, and the Hernandina.

America only grows around a fraction of the clementines it eats. Although introduced to the United States back in the 1840s, Clementines are picky about their growing environment. As they ripen in fall and winter, they need a sharp contrast between daytime and nighttime temperatures. These are precisely the conditions prevailing on the east coast of Spain.

Available from October through February, this fruit is the one snack that parents and kids can agree on. It tastes good, is easy to peel, fits nicely in a school lunch box, has a long shelf life, and is packed full of vitamin C and fiber.

It looks as if America and Spanish clementines are a match made in heaven.

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