tangerine? What's a mandarin?
a surprising amount of mystification on this topic,
but here's the gospel that we adhere to at Churchill
and "tangerine" are two words for the same
thing, technically Citrus reticulata Blanco. They're
called mandarins because they were thought to be native
to China; they're called tangerines because they were
thought to have come from Tangiers. They are in fact
native to southeast Asia someplace, and they did in
fact come to this country from North Africa, so both
origin myths are correct.
are about a zillion varieties of tangerines. Historically
in California we grew the Dancy, which is a lovely,
loose-skinned, comparatively late season, and scrumptiously
delicious tangerine. They don't store well either on
or off the tree, and they have seeds, which in recent
years has made them commercially undesirable, but their
flavor still defines "tangerine" for many
many years the Christmas tangerine has been the satsuma,
a loose-skinned seedless early maturing variety which
originated in Japan.
Churchill Orchard, we grow Pixies, Pages, Seedless Kishus,
Owari Satsumas, commercially and about 7 other varieties
experimentally or for fun.
has been exporting clementines, which are a family of
tangerine varieties, to the United States for the past
few years; now some growers in California have planted
enormous orchards (one man has planted 500,000 trees!)
of some varieties of clementines.
more on the Ojai pixie tangerine, see The
Origin Myth or go to www.pixietangerine.com.