Mandarin is a category of citrus that includes both tangerines and clementines. So, while every tangerine or clementine is technically a mandarin, not every mandarin is a clementine or tangerine.
The Citrus Variety Collection of the University of California has 167 different hybrids and varieties of mandarins listed. So, one can be forgiven for being a little confused about all these fruits.
But here’s a quick guide to figure out which is which.
Mandarin – Mandarins are generally smaller than oranges and taste sweeter. Their skin is thinner and a little looser, which makes the fruit easier to peel.
Tangerine – Tangerines have a bright orange color. Their flavor is less sweet and a bit more tart than most mandarins. Their skin is slightly tougher and harder to peel, which makes them a hardier fruit that’s less likely to bruise.
Clementine – Clementines are super sweet, seedless, and have smooth and shiny skin. They are one of the easiest mandarins to peel, only coming in behind Satsumas.
As the winter citrus season gets into full swing, we hope this helps you decide which fruit is perfect for you.
Planning for the New Year
Although the holidays are not over, it’s time to plan for the New Year! Expect customers to flood your produce department after the New Year to kick off their new diet, cleanse, juice fast, and resolution to eat healthier. Here are some things you can do to anticipate their needs and provide items your customers will be looking for:
Fresh-Cut: Offer an abundance of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables to your customers. Many customers will be looking for easier methods of making healthy meals such as pre-diced butternut squash or onions. These are great items to push to new cooks or customers looking for time-saving options.
Juicing: Stock up on popular juicing produce items such as apples, citrus, cucumbers, celery, ginger, turmeric, carrots, beets, spinach and kales. Prepare for high volume on lemons and try cross merchandising jugs of maple syrup (check out our December maple specials!) and shakers of cayenne close to your lemon display. Celery juice is another very popular health trend that has been seemingly everywhere. Put up recipe and informational cards near popular juicing items.
Recipes: Newly resolved shoppers are highly receptive to your product suggestions. This is the perfect time of year to have recipes sprinkled throughout the department. Meatless meals that focus on winter squashes, potatoes and mushrooms are great suggestions. Quick smoothie recipes using seasonal produce are a good way to feature specific items.
Citrus: With winter comes cold and flu season. Citrus is an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C. We are in the peak of citrus season, so make sure to provide a great selection of oranges, mandarins and grapefruits to help your customers stay healthy. Put up educational shelf-talkers on the health benefits of citrus.
This is the best time of year to win over new shoppers. Show off your best customer service skills and impress shoppers with your offerings to retain them for the New Year.
New and Exciting
African Shaddock Pomelo* (left): Classic pomelo flavor– sweet and tart with rose-pink pulp and juicy, fragrant flesh. This is a large fruit with medium-thick rind and soft pith.
Bacon Avocado: Less oily than Hass avocados, Bacons have a delicious, mild flavor with a buttery and creamy texture.
Brussels Sprout Stalk: Delicious, healthy, and makes for an impressive centerpiece, and conversation starter! Did you know Brussels sprouts can be roasted right on the stalk? Less prep and the stalk is 100% edible!
Cara Cara Navel Orange* (right): Very sweet with hints of cranberry and blackberry, and low acidity. Beautiful pink raspberry colored flesh makes this a seasonal favorite.
Castelfranco Radicchio: An heirloom variety that has pale green leaves with specks of burgundy. Its flavor is much milder than the common deep purple radicchio. It can be eaten raw, which makes for a uniquely beautiful salad. Also, try it sauteed, braised, or added to a variety of dishes. All radicchios get sweeter when cooked or broiled.
Daisy Tangerine: A medium sized tangerine that is balanced between sweet and tart. Expect some sporadic seeds! The classic tangerine flavor is worth it.
Earth Bag Onions* (left): The season’s best onions in 100% biodegradable, environmentally friendly bags. Available for yellow and red onions.
Orlando Tangelo: A cross between a Dancy tangerine and a Duncan grapefruit, Orlandos are very juicy and sweetly tart. They have no seeds and offer a mildly sweet taste.
Oro Blanco Grapefruit: A sweet and seedless variety that is a hybrid between a white-fleshed grapefruit and a pomelo. Large-sized, aromatic, with no bitter aftertaste.
Mixed Heirloom Tomato: Heirloom season in Mexico is just starting up! This mixed medley pack is from Ram’s Farm, known for their consistent quality and flavor.
Red Comice Pear: Strikingly gorgeous red color, very juicy and buttery texture, with an exceptionally sweet, mellow flavor. Biodynamic certified.
Snow Peas: Tender, yet crisp, these snap peas have a great taste and are just starting up from Mexico
Cherry Tomato: Open pints are readily available with competitive pricing. Lots of clamshells on hand as well!
Fuyu Persimmon: Sweet and delicious with a mellow but complex flavor, these persimmons are in great supply! Stock up on this seasonal favorite for the holidays!
Garnet Sweet Potato #1 (right): Sweet with a savory earthiness, these are at a great price.
Green Bean: Supply is steady out of Mexico; prices are coming down.
Green Pepper: Good volume coming from both Mexico and Coachella.
Lettuce: We’re seeing steady production of Green leaf, red leaf, and Romaine lettuces.
Maple Products: Don’t miss the sweet pricing on retail and bulk maple syrup products. December only!
Pink Lady Apples: A refreshing taste that is a blend of tart and sweet, these apples are in strong supply and are ready to eat!
Roma Tomato: As more growers start to harvest we’ll see plenty of fruit coming from Mexico. Expect prices to come down.
Satsuma Tangerine: Juicy and sweet, these are easy to peel and the right size for little hands!
Shallot: Plenty on-hand with promotable pricing.
Smitten Apple: Crisp texture, moderately juicy with sweet and balanced flavor. Dare we say the perfect apple?
Yellow Soft Squash: Strong volume and excellent pricing.
Done for the Season
Cantaloupe & Honeydew: Gapping until the new year