Learn about one of the most widely grown mandarins around the world that can be hard to track down in the United States outside of Florida - the Chinese Honey Orange or Ponkan.
Mandarins have become a popular fruit in the United States.
When I was a young kid you never really saw them in the stores. Now my kids eat them all the time.
One of the most widely grown varieties of mandarins in the world is probably not one that your kids would have ever eaten.
It's called the Chinese Honey Orange (Mandarin) or Ponkan. It is actually technically a cross between a mandarin and a Pomelo, but eats and looks just like a mandarin.
Learn more about the different types of mandarins
What is the Chinese Honey Orange Like?
The Chinese Honey or Ponkan Mandarin orange is larger than most mandarins like the Clementine that we all know of. It is not a seedless, which may be a turn off to most people. However the seeds can be easily removed and I found a couple segments that didn't contain any seeds.
The Chinese Honey was introduced to the United States somewhere around 1880, in Florida. If you are lucky you may be able to find a roadstand still selling them even though they have fallen out of favor.
My Experience with this Orange
Here is what I thought of the Ponkan. (Rating Scale 1-10)
|Seeded or Seedless||Seeded|
The Chinese Honey has a sweet straight forward orange flavor. They are easy to peel, much like the Clementine. The skin is loose enough to easily get them started.
Don't let the seeds be a turn off to giving these a try, see if you like them. I don't think they are the best tasting mandarin I have had, so if I had other choices that were seedless I would probably go for those.
Where to Buy
This is tough as I have only seen them one time before at Plum Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since then I haven't been able to locate them anywhere in the U.S.
If you know a place that sells them, please leave a comment below and give us a hand.
Can You Juice Them?
Absolutely! I have heard they may fabulous juice and is the reason a lot of people like growing them.
How to Buy a Ponkan Mandarin Tree
I did a little search to see if I could help you find a tree if you are interested.
Just Fruits and Exotics sells the trees, however due to Florida Agriculture Laws then can ship them within Florida.