Tangerines also known as Mandarins are a member of the citrus fruit family. They are characterized by an easy to peel skin and have a sweet aroma. There are several varietals of Tangerines, with the skin colour of ripe ones ranging from greenish-yellow to a stark orange. Grafted Tangerines are seedless. Tangerines are referred to as “Chenza” or “Sandala” in Kiswahili.
Native Tangerines in Kenya are found on the streets and local markets only when they are in season( during this time, they retail for as low as Kshs. 5 Bob) .However, imported ones are found in most major supermarkets throughout the year. As with most fruits, to avoid disappointments , it is important to pay extra attention when selecting your tangerines.
1. Ensure that your tangerine has a smooth even and fair skin. This is often a sign of good tasting fruit. Avoid those ones that have dents or patches of different colours.
2. Your tangerine should be plump, firm and heavy for its size. This is a sign of juiciness.
3. If it smells ripe, then it is ripe. While most fruit vendors frown upon this, smell is one of the most essential elements to consider when selecting any fruit. This can always tell you when a fruit is ripe , unripe or overripe. Don’t be shy, always take a decent whiff whenever you’re buying fruits.