History & Description:
The origin of clementines is shrouded in mystery. Some attribute their discovery to father Clement, a monk in Algeria, who tending his mandarin garden in the orphanage of Misserghim, found a natural mutation. He nurtured the fruit tree and subsequently called it “clementino”. Others, like Japanese botanist Tanaka, believe that clementines must have originated in Asia and found their way through human migration to the Mediterranean. Whatever their origin, clementines found their natural climate and soil in Spain, where they developed their particular aroma, sweetness and taste. Citrus fruits were once a rarity and a symbol of wealth and power. Clementines are tiny oranges that resemble tangerines but have a honey sweet taste to them.
Tucked underneath a bright orange peel, nutrients such as vitamin C, folate and potassium are stored waiting to be consumed. Vitamin C helps to protect against many forms of cancer and can help fight lower the “bad cholesterol” which can damage arteries. Vitamin C is also important in the maintenance of healthy bones, tissues and gums. According to research, the folate in clementines helps to clear away homocysteine from the body. If homocysteine levels are too high, it can be destructive to blood vessels. Potassium helps to maintain normal fluid and electrolyte balance in the body’s cells.
Choosing & Storing:
Store clementines in a plastic bag and in a cool place such as your refrigerator for up to 4 days. Select clementines that are firm and heavy for their size, smooth and unblemished.
Tips for Preparing Clementines:
When it comes to using clementines in cooking, with their fresh flavour, sweetness, pulp, zest and juice, they can be used in endless ways to enhance dishes such as salad dressings, desserts, fruit salads and eaten fresh just as they are. The clementine may be the ultimate portable fruit. Unlike naval oranges, they peel effortlessly, break easily and cleanly into sections, and have no seeds. Children seem to love the slightly tart, sweet flavour as much as adults do — they’re perfect for box lunches.