This lovely orange fruit originally hails from southern China, where it was named after the Chinese officials of the Imperial court – the ‘Mandarins’. Nowadays, the juicy fruit is widely available and grown in Australia, too. Mandarins are very high in vitamin C – probably why many of us turn to this trusty fruit when we feel a cold coming on! They’re also a source of fibre.
There are several main varieties of mandarins in Australia. Imperial are the most popular as they are an early season mandarin with smooth, glossy skin and sweet flesh with few seeds. Afourer mandarins develop a deep orange-red colour and are easy to peel. They’re a flavoursome, juicy variety. Murcott or Honey Murcotts are harvested near the end of the growing season. They have thin, smooth skin, are yellow-orange in colour and have a very sweet taste.
Choose mandarins that feel heavy for their size with glossy skin.
Mandarins can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.
Eat mandarins raw or cooked. They’re great for snacks on the go. Add peeled mandarins to fruit salads, rice salads, or use the juice for marinades. Try adding to crumbles, tarts, crepes or pavlovas.
3 ways with mandarins
- Throw mandarins into a green salad with baby rocket leaves, a few toasted almonds, some thinly-sliced red onion, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of vinaigrette.
- Top homemade mini pavlovas with sliced mandarins and drizzle a little of the juice over the top for a sweet dessert treat. Or, try using mandarins instead of oranges in your favourite orange and poppyseed cake or muffin recipe.
- Try adding peeled and segmented mandarins to your favourite stir-fry in the last couple of minutes of cooking for a fruity twist.