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.
How to Tell a Page Mandarin Apart
Difference in mandarins are hard to detect. A lot of them look the same to the naked eye. But once you start working with them more and tasting all that there is becomes easier. With the Page mandarin has circle 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.
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.
My Experience with this Orange
(Rating Scale 1-10)
Seeded or Seedless: Little to no seeds
Acidity : 7
Orange Flavor: 8
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 Clemetine. 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 are Page Mandarins in Season?
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.
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