Clementine and tangerine

Orange, juicy and healthy: tangerines and clementines are in high season here in late autumn and winter. The round citrus fruits are considered a vitamin C booster and a sweet alternative to oranges. But what is really in the sweet  winter fruit ? How many calories do the two fruits contain, which vitamins can they score with and what is the difference between a tangerine and a clementine? You can find out more about this below.

Difference between tangerine and clementine

The difference between tangerines and clementines is not particularly big. Strictly speaking, “tangerine” is a generic term for various types of citrus fruits, including the clementine. The common tangerine is the original species, the origin of which can be located in China. It probably got its name from the high-ranking officials of the time, the so-called “tangerines” – possibly because they wore orange-colored clothes or because tangerines were eaten at that time, especially in higher social classes.

Today, in addition to the tangerine itself, some newer breeds are commercially available. The most famous of these is the clementine. So a clementine is a subspecies of the tangerine. The fruit was named after its discoverer, the French monk Frère Clément.

Common tangerine varieties are:

  • Tangerine:  Tangerines are particularly aromatic and juicy, but they also contain quite a lot of acid. The peel of the tangerine is yellow to light orange and can be easily removed. Mandarins contain a lot of seeds.
  • Clementine:  Clementines are a hybrid of bitter orange (bitter orange) and tangerine. They are usually very sweet and contain few seeds. The skin is thin and difficult to peel.
  • Tangerine:  This very small tangerine variety also contains few seeds and is bright orange. It contains little acid. Tangerines are often offered in the form of lightly sweetened canned fruit and are therefore often used in tangerine cakes.
  • Satsuma:  Satsumas originated in Japan. They contain particularly few cores. They are very juicy and low in acid, but not very aromatic. They have a smooth skin that is easy to remove.

If you prefer to eat seedless tangerines, it is better to use clementines or other subspecies. Although these are often not completely seedless, they contain significantly fewer seeds than classic mandarins.

Clementine and Tangerine: Calories and Nutritional Facts

Clementines and tangerines are quite low in calories. While tangerines have around 50 kilocalories (kcal), or 209 kilojoules, per 100 grams, clementines provide 46 kilocalories, or 193 kilojoules per 100 grams. A normal-sized tangerine therefore contains around 25 kilocalories.

Both mandarin varieties consist of about 85 percent water. 100 grams of tangerines contain around 10 grams  of carbohydrates , which is around 4.5 grams per fruit. Clementines contain around 9 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams.

Healthy ingredients

Both tangerines and clementines are healthy, although the average content of vitamins and minerals differs slightly.

This table compares some of the ingredients of clementine and tangerine  per 100 grams in milligrams:

ingredients Clementine Tangerines
Vitamin C 30 mg 30 mg
Vitamin E 0,3 mg 0,32 mg
Vitamin B1 0,07 mg 0,06 mg
Vitamin A 0,05 mg 0,02 mg
Potassium 180 mg 150 mg
calcium 35 mg 33 mg
Magnesium 11 mg 11 mg
Phosphor 20 mg 20 mg

Mandarins and clementines therefore have a high vitamin C content, even if, contrary to popular belief, they are not among the front runners. For comparison: An orange contains almost 50 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams and  strawberries  even contain around 60 milligrams.

Nevertheless, the vitamin C content in tangerines and clementines should not be underestimated. The vitamin supports the  immune system  and, like vitamin E, has a cell-protecting effect. Vitamin B1 is primarily used for energy metabolism, while vitamin A promotes cell growth and plays an important role in eye function.

Among other things, magnesium and potassium have a positive effect on the function of the heart muscle, while calcium ensures strong bones and teeth. Phosphorus is used to regulate the acid-base balance in the body and to build cell walls.

Valuable plant substance in tangerines

The different tangerine varieties contain the secondary plant substance D-limonene. This terpene has  an antioxidant  and thus cell-protecting effect. In addition, the substance is said to have an anti-carcinogenic, i.e. anti-cancer effect. In fact, positive effects of D-limonene on tumor growth could be determined in the laboratory and in animal experiments. In experiments with rats, a blood pressure-lowering effect of D-limonene was also demonstrated. The effect of d-limonene on humans has not yet been studied in detail.

What should you consider when buying tangerines?

Mandarins and clementines are available in Germany all year round. However, they are mainly in season from November to February. This is because during this period the fruits are harvested in Israel, Turkey, Spain and Italy.

Fresh tangerines or clementines have a tight skin. If the skin feels loose, this is an indication that the fruit has been stored for too long. Also, no brown edges should have formed where the stem was torn off.

Both citrus fruits should be bought when they are ripe, as they do not ripen afterward. A few green spots on the skin do not indicate that the fruit is unripe. Rather, they are a natural part of the aging process. The orange color forms when the chlorophyll in the peel is broken down. This happens due to temperature differences between day and night. If the differences are too small, green spots can remain on the skin, even if the tangerine or clementine is ripe. These temperature differences can also be brought about artificially in the greenhouse.

Conventionally produced tangerines and clementines are treated with chemicals after harvesting. These should prevent the fruit from quickly becoming moldy or drying out. Fruits labeled “untreated” do not use such chemicals, which is also the case with organic fruit. However, no pesticides are used in the cultivation of the latter.

Canned tangerines

A simpler alternative is to buy canned tangerines that are already filleted. In these, the skin is removed by a bath in highly diluted hydrochloric acid. This is neutralized by a subsequent bath in caustic soda and any residue is then rinsed off. Since hydrochloric acid is also similar to gastric acid, canned tangerines are completely safe to eat. However, these are usually sweetened and therefore have more calories than fresh  fruit .

consumption and preparation

If you buy chemically treated tangerines or clementines, you should always wash them with warm water before eating or processing them. In addition, it is advisable to wash your hands after peeling the fruit before consuming the fruit in order not to transfer chemicals from your hands to the fruit.

Many people prefer to pluck off the white skin and white threads on the flesh. However, the white middle layer of the pericarp, the so-called mesocarp, can be eaten with tangerines and clementines without hesitation. As with all citrus fruits, the pits of tangerines and their subspecies can also be eaten.

If you want to fillet the tangerines, i.e. completely separate the flesh from the skin, you first cut off the upper and lower ends of the fruit. Then place the tangerine or clementine on the cut edges and use a sharp knife to score slits in the skin, stopping as close as possible to the actual flesh of the fruit. Then you can peel off the peel in strips. The individual tangerine pieces can now be cut along the visible lines and the fruit pieces separated out. Don’t cut all the way through the middle of the fruit.

Mandarins and their varieties can be used in many ways: whether in cakes, in muesli, as a sweet addition to salads or soups, as a dessert with sour cream or as jam.

Rice salad with tangerines – recipe

Tangerines are suitable for a variety of recipes. This delicious rice salad with tangerines is exotic, healthy and can   also   be made vegan if you like .

Ingredients for four servings:

  • 2 Paprika
  • 2 spring onions
  • 370 grams of canned tangerines or fresh tangerines
  • 280 grams  of rice
  • 6 THE  Mayonnaise  (vegan)
  • 2 tbsp apple  cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp  honey  (alternatively: agave syrup)
  • 4 THE Soybean
  • Your 2 EL Currypulver, Corianderpulver und  Turmeric
  • salt , pepper, chilli powder

Cook the rice according to package directions and allow to cool slightly. In the meantime, you can cut the peppers, spring onions and tangerines into small pieces and then mix everything with the rice.

Combine mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey and soy sauce and add to rice. Mix in the spices and season with salt, pepper and chilli powder. Let the rice salad sit in a cool place for at least thirty minutes before serving to allow the aroma to develop fully.

Store tangerines and clementines

In warmer temperatures, tangerines and clementines dry out quickly. Ideally, they should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as the pantry or basement, and not in airtight packaging.

You should also avoid bruising the fruit. This keeps the citrus fruits fresh for several weeks. At room temperature, however, they only last a few days.

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