What are the Different Types of Mandarin Oranges?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

While many people are familiar with mandarin oranges, it is sometimes a surprise to find that there are several different types or varieties of them. Each of these types share some common characteristics, while still having one or two factors that make each type distinct.

Mandarins are ideal in fruit salads.
Mandarins are ideal in fruit salads.

Many people choose to purchase mandarin oranges that are canned. Peeled, sectioned, and packed in natural juices, the orange typically utilized in this application is the satsuma. A satsuma tends to set the standard for what people expect when it comes to the taste of mandarins. Because the sections keep very well, the canned satsumas are ideal for use in fruit salads and provide a source of citrus during the winter months.

Tangerines have a darker reddish color than mandarins.
Tangerines have a darker reddish color than mandarins.

Gaining popularity on the satsuma is the Clementine. This variety of mandarin oranges is usually grown in temperate climates and produces fruit during November and January. Spain is one of the major producers of the Clementine. In recent years, the Clementine has begun to find additional markets in the form of both frozen and canned sections of the fruit.

The Clementine is a mandarin orange.
The Clementine is a mandarin orange.

Tangerines also are part of the mandarin orange family. The tangerine tends to have a deeper shade of color to the sections than some other forms of orange. A ripe tangerine will have a deeper orange color, leaning more toward a red tint. Sweet and refreshing, the tangerine is often a favorite fruit around holidays such as Christmas.

The satsuma is a type of mandarin orange.
The satsuma is a type of mandarin orange.

The temple orange, or tangor, is a cross between a satsuma and the common orange. This variety of mandarin oranges takes the best qualities of both fruits and combines them into one new type. Juicy and easy to peel, the tangor is an excellent choice for fresh fruit around the house.

Though satsuma oranges are usually canned, they can be sold in packaged form.
Though satsuma oranges are usually canned, they can be sold in packaged form.

In like manner, the rangpur is another hybrid within the family of mandarin oranges. Described as a cross between a mandarin and the lemon, the rangpur has a hint of sour that tempers the sweet taste, providing a fruit option with a little extra bite in both the aroma and the flavor of the fruit.

Mandarin oranges are frequently added to fruit salads.
Mandarin oranges are frequently added to fruit salads.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

DinoLeash

@purplespark: Mandarin oranges are really not that hard to grow. You can grow them in pots just as you would any other type of citrus. For the growing season, keep the pots outdoors in full soon. Bring them indoors before the weather gets too cold. The plant will produce fruit in late winter.

PurpleSpark

Is it hard to grow a mandarin orange tree?

wesley91

@calabama71: No, they are not bad for you. Of course, they have more added sugar and it always best to eat fruit fresh to retain its nutritional value.

I love mandarin oranges but I don't love the added sugar in the canned type. I buy them and drain all of the juice off of them and them rinse them. I don't really know if that helps, but in my mind, it works for me!

calabama71

Are canned mandarin oranges bad for you?

WaterHopper

I had no idea that a tangerine was considered a mandarin orange. Great info!

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