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Choose tangerines for a fresh winter fruit

Tangerines, with their brilliant color and intriguing flavor and aroma are available from November through May, with several varieties to choose from during the season. Tangerines have loose, easy to peel skin, they segment easily and may or may not have seeds, depending on the variety.

Look for these in your grocery store: Mandarins have a light orange color, smooth skins, a mild sweet flavor and few seeds. Kinnows are the most plentiful of the mandarins and are abundant from January through May. Satsumas are the early mandarin variety, in season November through January.

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Tangelos are a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. The grapefruit cross makes the size larger and creates a delicious tart-sweet flavor. The two tangelos, Orlando and Minneola, are available from December through April. You can tell a Minneola by the knob-like formation at the stem and the deep orange color. The Orlando is slightly flat, somewhat lighter in color and has more seeds.

Actual tangerines are the pebbly skinned varieties. Algerians and Dancies, the most plentiful of the true tangerines, are available from November through January.

Temples or royal mandarins are a cross between a tangerine and an orange. They tend to be large, red-orange in color and similar to an orange in flavor. Temples from California and Arizona are available January through April.

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