Q: Are Tangerines Seedless?

By: The Hale Groves Team | On: | Category: Fruit Facts

A: No…tangerines have seeds.

But wait…you’re sure you’ve eaten a seedless tangerine before, right? Actually, what you probably had was a clementine. Like tangerines, clementines are a type of mandarin. They look similar to tangerine fruit, but they’re not quite the same.

You don’t lose points for thinking a clementine is a tangerine, though…clementines are often categorized as seedless tangerines in the US, along with satsumas or mini tangerines. (These seedless varieties also include kishu mikan, a hybrid variety grown in Southern China and Japan that are also known as tiny tangerines.) Regardless, all of them are tasty and supremely good for you.

What is a tangerine?

Tangerine’s are the most popular of the varieties of mandarin. Mandarins are one of the original citrus species that, through breeding or natural hybridization, serves as the ancestor of many hybrid citrus cultivars. When it comes to tangerine vs. mandarin, a good rule of thumb to remember is that all tangerines are mandarins, but not all mandarins are tangerines.

Tangerine vs. Clementine

There are a number of ways to tell the difference between clementine and tangerine mandarins. Clementines look similar to tangerines, but they’re a little smaller, and their skins are brighter, shinier and smoother. Clementines are slightly more oval in shape than tangerines and have a flat spot on the top and bottom. They’re even sweeter in flavor. You may see them in the store, where they’re packaged as Cuties or Haloes or even Halo tangerines, but these are marketing names – they are still clementine oranges. Their growing season is the same as that of a tangerine.

Tangerine vs. Orange

Some people refer to tangerines as tangerine oranges, but they are very different fruits, and telling the difference between orange and tangerine is easier than trying to differentiate between other mandarin varieties. The most obvious difference between the two citrus fruits is their size: oranges tend to be larger and rounder than tangerines. While both fruits have thin orange skins, the skin of a tangerine is looser, and therefore easier to peel, than that of an orange. In terms of color, an orange has a more yellowish orange skin, while the tangerine’s skin is reddish orange and darker.

Are there Different Types of Tangerines?

There are several different types of tangerines, and each is unique and delicious in its own way.

The dancy tangerine (named for Colonel F.L. Dancy, in whose grove the variety originated in 1867) is one of the oldest tangerine varieties known in Florida. Though it was a very common variety for many years, it has faded in popularity in favor of new hybrid varieties.

Popular tangerine hybrids include tangelos (a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo) and temples (a cross between a tangerine and sweet oranges). Other popular tangerine hybrids include the Robinson (a cross between a tangelo and a clementine) and the sunburst (a cross between a tangelo and a Robinson). Probably the most popular tangerine variety is the honey tangerine (produced by crossing a tangerine with an orange).

What do tangerine benefits include?

There are many benefits of eating tangerines. Like all mandarin varieties, tangerines are small and easy to peel, making them great for snacking and in lunchboxes and salads. This in turn makes them an easy and delicious way to add certain nutrients to your diet!

When totting up the nutritional benefits of a tangerine, Vitamin C comes to most people’s minds first, as this little fruit contains 44% of the daily-recommended value. Tangerines are also high in Vitamin A, and are excellent sources of fiber, folate and potassium.

In determining how many calories in a tangerine or how many carbs in a tangerine, you can compare them to most other mandarin varieties. Like mandarins, there are 12 grams of carbs in a tangerine, and about 50 tangerine calories, making them a great low-cal snack.

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