What Tangerines Are Seedless?
The title of this article is actually a trick question, because true tangerines are not, in fact, seedless. There are many varieties of tangerines and related citrus fruits that are often marketed as tangerines, but are not true tangerines. “Halo tangerines,” for example, refer not to a true tangor but a specific brand of mandarin, while a “satsuma tangerine” actually refers to a Japanese variety of mandarin.
Tangerine fruit is a small citrus fruit that is a variety of the mandarin orange. While some people refer to this orange-colored fruit as a “tangerine orange” due to their similarity in appearance, there are significant differences in a tangerine vs. orange. For one thing, oranges are a hybrid fruit – a cross between a mandarin and pomelo – while tangerines are a subgroup of mandarins. The most obvious difference between orange and tangerine is size – tangerines are smaller than oranges, with thin, dark-orange skins that are easy to peel.
Some of the more popular varieties of tangerine and tangerine hybrids include:
- Honey tangerines. This tangerine variety is very seedy, but also very juicy. You might also see them sold as honey mandarins.
- Fairchild tangerines. Thanks to their easy-to-peel zipper skins, these fruits make excellent take-along snacks.
- Dancy tangerine. One of the oldest known varieties, this true tangerine has a thin, dark, reddish-orange rind and an excellent sweet-tart flavor.
- Clementine tangerine. Clementines have few to no seeds, and are what most people think of when they think of “seedless” tangerines. This fruit is actually a cross between a tangerine and a sweet orange.
- Tangelos. A cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit, tangelos (like Pittman & Davis Honeybells) have a sweet, honey-like taste and a bell-like shape.
- Royal mandarin tangerine. Another tangerine/orange hybrid, this sweet-tart fruit is closer in taste to an orange and are also known as Temples.
Are Tangerines Good For You?
Regularly snacking on a tangerine benefits your health in so many ways. While you’ll get a lot from a tangerine, vitamin C is more plentiful in oranges. That said, in a single tangerine calories are lower than in a single large orange (47 vs. 87). But since tangerines are so easy to peel and enjoy on the go, you might find yourself noshing on them more often than you would on a juicy, tough-to-peel orange. There are also only about 12 carbs in a tangerine (and these of the complex variety), making them a doubly diet-friendly snack.
Eating tangerines can improve digestion, regulate blood pressure, protect your heart, and reduce your risk for cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. And don’t rule out the idea of eating the peel, either – the skin of a tangerine contains a super-flavonoid called tangeretin (studies show super-flavonoids are an effective way to lower cholesterol). The peel is also where tangerine essential oil comes from. Tangerine essential oil benefits your mental well being, helping to improve your outlook, the quality of your sleep, and more.
How to Add Tangerines to Your Diet
Eating them fresh is easy and tasty, but you can also use tangerines in salads, and even cook with them! In addition to the ubiquitous tangerine chicken, there are many tangerine recipes for every course, from jams and stir-fries to salads and desserts. Once you start, you’ll find it easy to add this delicious citrus fruit to your diet. Your health will thank you for it!