A lot of people understand that fresh oranges are best in the winter, but not many people understand that different varieties have particular seasons. You'll have better luck coming home with good oranges if you learn which varieties are in season when - and keep a simple guideline in mind when you're selecting them at the market. Oranges and all citrus fruit should be heavy in the hand for its size. This simple test and it's your most reliable guide for citrus fruit.
The Mandarin Family Oranges in the mandarin family include Tangerines, Tangelos, Mineolas (red tangelos), Murcotts, Temples, Clementines, and Mandarins the grandmother of them all. They are basically peeling oranges that began as small, bitter fruits and have been developed by horticulturalists into sweet, easily peeled and eaten oranges.
SunburstTangerines are as vividly orange as the Florida sun and bursting with intense flavor.
Hmmmmmm - Guess it's pretty easy to see how they got their name. What makes them even better is they're a snap to peel and section.
But unlike the Florida sun, they're only available for a limited time which is November to January. So if you are a tangerine lover, don't miss these. Very juicy with only a few seeds, Sunburst tangerines are great to eat as a snack or to use in salads. They are also great as a garnish or as an ingredient in a main or side dish. Always take your time to remove the white pith that surrounds the flesh of the Starburst tangerine for a better tasting tangerine. Sunburst tangerines are my favorite.
Whatever the variety, look for oranges that are shiny and heavy in the hand. It's a primary rule for a number of fruits, but it's especially important for oranges. Check the scent - the orange should smell good. Except for Robinson tangerines, the rind should never feel puffy - that is, it shouldn't feel like there's any space between it and the flesh. There should be no spotting, no signs of shriveling, no white patches on the rind, and no fermented smell.
Tangerines are the most perishable of the oranges. They will keep a day or two at room temperature and up to a week in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Other oranges can be kept out at room temperature for three or four days with little problem. Refrigerate them in a plastic bag or in the crisper drawer, and they'll keep well for one to two weeks.
Other recipes from Produce Pete.