Tangerines and clementines

  • Gheorghe Daria

  • Clasa a 12-a B

  • Colegiul Național “Mircea cel Bătrân

General details

Mandarine oranges(Citrus reticulata) and clementines(Citrus xclementina) are orange fruits which are part of the citrus family. Clementines a are a hybrid between mandarins and oranges, they have few seeds, a sweeter taste and they are very easy to peel because of their thin cover. These fruits grow in relatively small trees, they can be easily mistaken for oranges and they come from tropical and subtropical regions of Asia.

Chemical properties

Mandarines are about 85-90 % water and one fruit has about 53 calories. They contain 13,30 f of sugars, 0,30 g of fat (mono and polisaturated fats, Omega-3 and Omega-6 acids),0,80 g or protein. Among the minerals that can be found in these fruits are potassium (166 mg), calcium(37 mg) and phosphorus(20 mg). Citrus fruits are especially abundant in vitamin C( ascorbic acid but they also contain vitamins from the A and B complex. Beta-caroten is the substance that gives mandarins their orange colour.

Health benefits

The litte orange fruits have oxidant and antioxidant properties,either if they are consumed whole or as juice and they are very useful for digestion. Their high beta-caroten content protects us against sunburns, so a glass of mandarine juice is more than welcome after a day at the beach. Japanese studies confirm that moderate consumption of manadarine juice reduces the risk of developing liver cancer due to its carotenoid subtances content. They can also prevent the formation of kidney diseases. In the cosmetic industry, mandarines are highly appreciated because cream with extracts from this citrus has the ability to hidrate and protect the skin very well. You can use them if you want to lose weight, as they make your cholesterol level drop significantly, thus also preventing you from any eventual heart attack.


In chinese culture, 2 mandarines were offered to the bride of her wedding day so that she could share them with her new husbands on their first night together. They are the symbol of wanting a happy family and a long, fullfiling marriage. They also symbolise prosperity as the term that designates manadarine in a chinese dialect has the meaning „gold”


Mandarines,in every form, probably evolved from wild oranges that grew in the north-eastern India about 3000 years ago. From India, they arrived to China, and from China they got to Europe, north Africa and Australia before making their way to other parts of the world as well. The first fruits were brought to England from China in 1805. In the next decade, mandarines got to Italy too where they started being harvested at a large scale, not only there, but also in other meditaranean countries. Australia began importing the fruit from China in 1820.

The citrus got its name when it arrived to the United Kingdom. Mandarin is a Chinese dialect spoken by public officials and educated people in China. The robes that the officials were wearing back then were of a bright orange, so the fruit was named mandarine orange.

In in 1840s, they were brought to the United States by the Italian consul of New Orleans. They eventually made their way to Florida and California too.

Personal experience

When winter is coming, I know that I am going to eat mandarines..a lot of them. When their time comes, my father buys a ton of them, because he makes juice from then and also because I eat like 5 or 6 at a time. They are very easy to peel, you don’t have to break your fingers like with the orange, they are sweet and sour and you don’t need to cut them, as they are already segmented. Even though they are very good tasting.. I absolutely hate how they smell. I also hate peeling them, because I think they make my nails and fingers yellow, my hands get an awful smell and even if I was my hands like a million times they still feel sticky. The smell generally put me off and makes me sneeze like I’m allergic to it. It’s like it’s coming from cleaning products, and it annoys me.Getting over what I already said, I cannot make myself not to eat them. However, if they were in a cake or something like that..I would never eat it.


And now, I am going to suggest a raw-vegan recipe, perfect for those with that kinf of lifestyle.

Kale, mandrine and goji berry salad with dressing


  • a head of kale, without stems,chopped

  • a head of Romaine salad, chopped

  • 3 cups od Spinach leaves

  • 4-5 mandarines, peeled and segmented

  • 3 tablespoons of dried goji berries

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa

1. Mix the greens in a large bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the salad.
3. Serve the dressing separately, or in the salad.

Pentru dressing:

  • a cup of mandarine or clementine juice

  • a tablespoon of pecan vinegar

  • o tablespoon of minced ginger

  • half a cup of raw cashews

  • salt and pepper

1. Blend all the ingredients in the food processor.