Tangerine, Clementine Or Orange? Those Are The Differences

Citrus fruits are piling up in the supermarkets at this time of year. Sometimes the orange fruits are called tangerines, sometimes clementines, sometimes oranges. On some labels there is also an exotic name such as Tangerine or Satsuma. Here you can find out what the differences are, which fruits are suitable for juicing, and which have hardly any seeds.

Oranges, tangerines, clementines, and their relatives have a few things in common: they all belong to the citrus fruit family and mostly come from southern Europe. All have an orange skin and now taste best in winter, because their main harvest time is from November to March. And all of them are real vitamin bombs due to their vitamin content.

But what is the difference between tangerines, oranges, and clementines?

Tangerine or clementine?

Mandarins were cultivated in China 4000 years ago, today the citrus fruits mostly come from the tropics or southern Europe.

Not all tangerines are the same: tangerines and clementines are difficult to tell apart visually, the main difference is in their taste. In stores, they often go under the term “tangerine”. Usually, the orange fruits are not mandarins at all – but clementines.

How to distinguish tangerines and clementines

Tangerines and clementines are significantly smaller than oranges, they are flattened at the top and bottom.

Taste: The real tangerine is less sweet than the clementine.
Color: The color of tangerines is juicy orange, clementines are lighter and more yellowish-orange.
Size: The tangerine is slightly larger than the clementine.
Seeds: Because of their numerous seeds, tangerine is not that popular and you can hardly find it in our shops. Clementines have fewer seeds and are often completely seedless.
Segments: Mandarins are basically divided into nine segments, the number of segments in the clementine varies between eight and twelve.
Skin: The tangerine has a thinner skin than the clementine, which is why it can only be stored for around two weeks, the clementine significantly longer.
Clementine is the most popular type of mandarin in Germany, and we see it most often in the supermarket or fruit stores. It is a hybrid of tangerine and bitter orange (bitter orange). Clementines can be stored in a cool place for several weeks.

What is an orange?

Oranges are ordinary oranges, orange is just another word for orange. Oranges are significantly larger than tangerines and their skin is thicker. There are many different types of oranges in our trade, the most well-known of which is probably the navel orange. Navel oranges have relatively few pits and are ideal for eating. You can recognize a navel orange by the bulge that resembles a navel.

If you are looking for a type of orange to squeeze, you should use special juice oranges, blood oranges, or blond oranges.

Mandarin family: Satsuma, Tangerine, and Minneola

Tangerines and clementines have a large family that also includes the satsuma, tangerine, and minneola:

Satsuma: The satsuma (a cross between a tangerine and an orange) has a thin skin and is more yellowish in colour. The satsuma, which originally comes from Japan, is particularly juicy and low in acid, but not quite as aromatic as its relatives. In autumn it is the first type of mandarin to be found in our shops.

Tangerine: The tangerine is very sweet and much smaller. It has no seeds and can often be found in cans as mandarin oranges.

Minneola: Minneolas are a hybrid of grapefruit and tangerine. They are juicier than oranges – and therefore ideal for juicing.

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