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The mandarin, a member of the citrus family, is like an orange but is smaller in size, easy to peel and deliciously sweet. It’s the perfect snack and a good source of Vitamin C – a great weapon in protecting against winter colds and flu. With its characteristic juicy, crescent shaped segments, the mandarin is also perfect for decorating desserts such as flans, cheesecakes and pavlovas.
The mandarin is a sweet tasting, refreshing, juicy citrus fruit. Sweeter than an orange, some varieties can be tart in flavour.
West Australian mandarins are available from April to December and are in abundance from May to November.
When choosing a mandarin look for a rich, glossy skin with fine texture and feel for heavy fruit – an indication of juiciness!
Avoid any fruits that have obvious soft spots.
A puffy appearance and feel is normal due to the nature of the easy-to-peel skin.
Take care when packing and transporting home as the mandarin is more delicate than other citrus fruits and can be easily bruised.
Mandarins can be stored at room temperature for up to a week or in the refrigerator without plastic bags or in the crisper drawer for up to two weeks. (They do not ripen further after harvest)
Mandarins are the easiest of citrus fruit to peel as their skin has already relaxed from the flesh. (Great for school lunches and snacks)
To peel gently pierce skin with thumb at the stem mark and lift skin. The fruit can be prized open in half at this stage with individual segments being easily taken out by hand.
Mandarins lend themselves to many dishes such as fruit and savoury salads, cakes, desserts, cocktails and meat dishes.
|Nutrient||Value per 100 g|
|Energy, including dietary fibre||191||kJ|
|Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols||9||g|
|Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols||9||g|
|Pantothenic Acid (B5)||0||mg|
|Dietary folate equivalents||0||ug|
|Beta carotene equivalents||52||ug|
|Tryptophan (mg/g N)||28||MN|
Source: NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand); The University of New South Wales; Professor Heather Greenfield and co-workers at the University of New South Wales; Tables of composition of Australian Aboriginal Foods (J Brand-Miller, KW James and PMA Maggiore).