One of the best things about winter is the citrus. Stores are packed full of many orange and yellow treats from warmer climates. One of those treats has a name fit for a king, the Temple Royal Mandarin (sometimes called a Tangor or just Temple orange). The Royal Mandarin is a cross between a tangerine and an orange. It contains seeds about 2-3 per segment, although some segment I found to be seedless. They are easy to peel like a Clementine. There is much pith (the white stuff) to deal with. The mandarin has a nice sweet orange taste, that is juicy and acidic with a little bit of a lemon undertone. The outside is a red-orange color. They are available from January thru April. I found my sample at my local Meijer store in Ann Arbor, Michigan marked as “temple oranges”.
The Temple was first discovered on the island of Jamaica in 1896. The name “Temple” comes from W.C. Temple who recommended them to his friend H.E. Gillett who began growing them and selling them in 1919. their popularity didn’t really take off until 1940. Now, you should be able to find them nationwide.