You know it’s Aussie mandarin season when you hear the resounding chorus of “give me a mandy mum”. So let’s find out more about this delicious fruit.
Mandarins originated in China and are of course, part of the citrus family. The fruit was so highly regarded in the area, that it was named after the officials of the Imperial court (The Mandarins). Visitors also loved the fruit and took samples of the seeds home to different areas across the world.
Currently there are 4,900 hectares of mandarins amongst nearly 400 mandarin growers in Australia. And of all the states, Queensland is the biggest producer!
Mandarins prefer to grow in moderate temperatures as cold weather can damage the fruit and extremely hot weather can burn the fruit.
Whilst all other citrus fruit is harvested all year round, mandarins are picked in winter by hand to ensure their skins are not damaged.
Mandarins are low in kilojoules and high in fibre which makes them the perfect snack to curb those hunger pains. With two small mandarins containing 35% of your recommended Vitamin C intake they’re also a fantastic fruit for those winter cold and flu months.
How to Choose Mandarins
To pick a juicy mandarin, look for one which is heavy for its size without blemishes.
Some ideas for using mandarins…
– Eat fresh for a midday snack
– Pair with crumbed chicken for a different spin on rice paper rolls
– Create a mandarin cocktail
– Bake a mandarin and almond cake