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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tangerines

The best snacks come already packaged by Mother Nature!  Tangerines are a citrus fruit with a loose skin that is easy to peel, perfect for snacking.  They are smaller in size than an orange.  There are several varieties of tangerines available with one of the most popular in our area being the clementine.  Clementines are shipped in small wooden crates usually from Morocco starting in early December ready for the holiday season.  I look forward to clementines for both snacking and home canning.  While these are quite tasty, they are not as flavourable as fresh picked tangerines.

tangerines
Citrus fruits are an important cash crop where our vacation home is.  Like all produce there is a season so for best flavour citrus fruit should be picked within that season at the peak of ripeness. Citrus fruit that will be shipped to other locations like where we live in Ontario is picked slightly under ripe to avoid spoilage during shipping.  As a result the fruit while good never develops as much flavour as a fruit picked fully ripe.

We bought fresh picked tangerines from a rather quaint fruit stand.  These were larger than clementines and a bit smaller than oranges.  The deep orange skin was thick and pebbled rather than thin and smooth.  The stem end was quite pronounced.  They were very easy to peel.

Tangerines can be enjoyed simply peeled as a snack.  The segments can be dipped about half-way in melted chocolate for a nice fruit tray presentation.  Segments can be used whole or chopped in salads and desserts.  Like clementines they can be home canned to be enjoyed as is or in desserts.  The peel can be zested to add flavour to a wide range of foods and the zest can be dried then powdered as a natural flavourant. 


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