Tangerines vs Mandarins vs Clementines: What's the Difference?

Tangerines, mandarins, and clementines - they're all oranges, but what's the difference? Read on to learn about tangerines vs mandarins vs clementines.

What is orange, round, and tastes deliciously sweet? The answer could be tangerines vs mandarins vs clementines.

Oranges are one of America's favorite fruits. Over 60 percent of Americans regularly buy oranges. 

And yet, despite the popularity of the orange, many people get confused by the different types of oranges. 

In this article, we'll reveal the differences. Let's get started!

Let's Start with the Mandarin Orange 

The mandarin orange is the ancestor of every other type of orange. It's the original orange, so to speak.

You can spot a mandarin orange by the flat ends. Even though other types of oranges may roll off a surface, the mandarin orange sits still.

It, therefore, resembles the shape of a pumpkin. This makes it the perfect replacement for your Halloween decorations. 

Mandarin oranges also marketed as "easy peel." That's for good reason. You can peel a mandarin in just a few moments. 

Tangerines vs Mandarins

Before the internet, arguments about the difference between tangerines vs mandarins would last forever.

But now it can be revealed that the difference is not much really. In fact, the words mandarins and tangerines are largely used interchangeably.

The reason is that tangerines are actually a type of mandarin. So, how do you know whether you're eating a tangerine or just another regular mandarin?

Well, you can identify a tangerine by the thinner-skin around the juicy bits inside. It's also a slighter brighter orange and a little larger as well. 

What About Clementine Oranges?

Now, this is where it really gets confusing. Clementines are also a type of mandarin orange. You can spot the difference because they're much smaller than the tangerines. 

Clementine oranges are especially suitable for children since they don't contain any pesky seeds. The sweetness can be enjoyed without the hassle.

You may encounter clementine oranges sold as "sweeties."

How About Satsumas?

Yes, you guessed it. Satsumas are yet another type of mandarin orange. Satsumas started in Japan, but have since expanded across the world.

The satsuma is even smaller than the clementine orange. It's actually the smallest of the mandarin orange family.

Have you got a sweet tooth? Satsumas are sweeter and more tender than other types of mandarin.

If you buy a bag of satsumas, be careful not to damage them. The tenderness makes them especially fragile and vulnerable to bruising.

As a result, satsuma mandarins are on average harder to find in supermarkets in the United States. But, the good news is that you can plant your own satsuma mandarin tree. 

Learn More About Citrus Fruits

It can be quite confusing distinguishing between all the different kinds of oranges. But, it's important you know what you're eating before you bite into the sweet and nutritious goodness.

Now you know the answer to the debate about the differences between tangerines vs mandarins.

Do you want to learn more about the health benefits of eating mandarin oranges and other citrus fruits? Check out our citrus blog here

Try our seasonal citrus box while its available...the Craft Citrus Club!

Our Rio box is a 15-lb curated box of our fresh-harvested citrus from South Texas. The fruit is NOT gassed, rather it is tree-ripened. Our season runs from Nov-May for  oranges, grapefruit and mandarins.

Our Grande box is a 30-lb box of either fresh-harvested Rio Red Grapefruit or Sweet Oranges from South Texas.

If you want to try out our fresh-harvested Clementine Tangerine Box from South Texas, click here!

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