English Name: Mandarin
Botanical Name: Citrus reticulata
DESCRIPTION: A small, spiny variety of orange, which is seedless and easy to peel. Its varieties of which are called tangerines.
ORIGINS: Some say Mandarin orange and India are native to China. Mandarins oranges in all their forms are probably descended from wild oranges that grew in Northeast India as long as 3,000 years ago. India, mandarins made their way to China and to Europe, North Africa and Australia before they traveled on to other parts of the World.
The first of these small, loose-skinned oranges were brought to England from China in 1805. From England, the mandarin made its way into Italy in the next decade, and from Italy it came into wide cultivation and spread to other Mediterranean countries that include: North Africa. From China, the mandarin was introduced into Australia in the 1820s. The mandarin gained its nickname when it was introduced into England.
Mandarin denoted Chinese speaking by public officials and other educated people in China. Mandarins were first introduced into the United States in the 1840s by the, Italian consul in New Orleans from New Orleans, the mandarin spread to Florida and later California. Several varieties of mandarins that are deep orange in color took their name tangerine when they were imported in great quantities into the United State in 19th century from North Africa, Morocco to be precise. The mandarin shipment embarked from the Moroccan port city of Tangier.
NATURAL BENEFITS: No doubt Mandarins are rich in Vitamin C, it prevents cancerous growth especially liver cancer due to its high Vitamin A. It is also high in beta cryptoxanthin. Helps to lower bad cholesterol, lowers the blood pressure. It prevents cold and lowers insulin. It can provide 80% of your total daily Vitamin C & E.
USES: Mandarin oranges are used in salads and can be eaten raw too. The fruit is sweet and juicy and provides flavour to candies, bubble gums and ice cream. Mandarin peels are used for making oils and skin care products.