Juicy things come in small packages when you are talking about the Page Mandarin or Tangerine. Sweet and full of flavor, one of the best tasting mandarin varieties in our opinion.
Comparing apples to oranges. A common saying.
I have read reports that this saying goes back to the 1800s. The more fascinating thing is that it was originally comparing apples to oysters (read more about the origin).
Today, I am here to do the opposite - compare oranges to oranges, or to be more specific mandarins to mandarins. The differences here are a lot more subtle.
But since my first visit to Southern California in the winter back in 2011, I have been doing just that.
This is when I discovered that there were many mandarins that just what I was getting at my grocery stores. One of the mandarins I discovered on this faithful trip was the Page mandarin.
Learn all about this piece of fruit and how you can find it in any grocery store.
❓ What is a Page Mandarin?
The Page mandarin was discovered in 1942, in that other orange state (Florida). It was released on the market in 1963. It's pretty standard for citrus to take a while to get to the marketplace.
Page is a cross between a Clementine mandarin and a Minneola Tangelo.
Sometimes you may find them labeled as Page tangerines or even Page oranges. The latter doesn't make sense as it is not a true orange, expect in color.
❔ How to Tell Them Apart
Difference in mandarins are hard to detect. A lot of them look the same to the naked eye. But once you start trying more and tasting all that there it becomes easier.
The Page mandarin has circle indentation at the bottom of most specimens. It is very round with a darker orange colored skin.
The skin itself doesn't peel away from the fruit, which is one downside to it.
? My Ratings
On a scale of 1-10, here are my ratings for this mandarin.
I can definitely see that Page mandarin is a cross between a Clementine and a Minneola - it has the best of both worlds. Page has the juiciness of the Minneola and the sweetness and small package of a Clementine.
The sweet/tart scale on this one is definitely tipping towards the sweet end. Their juiciness is what makes them one of the best mandarins for juice. I absolutely love these Page mandarins.
The only downside to them is that they are not as easy to peel as true mandarin varieties. When you do peel them, you might want a napkin ready to go, they can be quite messy.
For that reason not my best recommendation for kids, unless you sliced them up into wedge and serve them that way.
❄️ When in Season?
Peak season - Early January to late February
They are considered an early season variety. I usually don't see them show up in stores until January. You can probably find them earlier at farmer's market. Season is short. By March, I don't see them anymore, at least in my parts.
? How to Find Them
These are not carried in every store but you can find them. I have been able to find them every season even outside of being at a farmer's market in California. It's all about knowing their shape. That circle at the bottom is a big giveaway.
I have found them in container sand bags in the store that were labelled mandarins, without identifying what variety they are. Even if you don't see a sign advertising them, look at the mandarins are in the store and maybe you would find them.
I did find them at Trader Joe's before in a mandarin plastic container that just said stem & leaf mandarins on it.
Here is a picture of the bottom of the fruit out of that container.
The circle around the bottom of the fruit can be seen.
? Try These Varieties Too
Here are some other varieties of citrus you will want to try out.