Mandarin vs. tangerine

< Previous | Next >

Rivendell

Senior Member
Spanish / Spain
Mandarin vs tangerine <-----Topic added to post by moderator (Florentia52)----->

Hi,

is this one of the American / British English differences? Or are they really different things?

Thanks.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Mandarin = Citrus reticulata
    Tangerine = Citrus tangerina

    However, Franco-filly's comments are also true. Remember, these are cultivated plants and therefore highly susceptible to hybridisation.
     

    Rivendell

    Senior Member
    Spanish / Spain
    Yes, I see.

    Now, the question is: if you go to the supermarket, to buy some of this fruit, what do you ask for: "a bag of tangerines" or "a bag of mandarins"? Even if they are different species, what's the word "common" people usually say?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    In my part of the world, tangerines are generally sold under that name. You probably wouldn't have to ask anything in the produce section at the average supermarket. Instead, you would find them piled on a table somewhere in little mesh bags. If you did need to ask, you'd likely ask for tangerines.

    Mandarin orange slices are typically packed in juice or syrup over here and sold in cans. You'd find them in the aisle with other types of canned fruit.
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    This picture may help:


    On a market stall, you ask for the one you want! They aren't the same! If it's not labelled (very rare) you ask what it's called or you point. In a supermarket, you help yourself.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    (We have a productive yuzu tree, hence the more than casual reponse here - it's, ahem, used a lot in Japanese cooking).

    The world of citrus is far more diverse than your grocery store would have you believe. Exactly what you get may be hard to determine without DNA analysis:D
    " The three original species in the citrus genus that have been hybridized into most modern commercial citrus fruit are the mandarin orange, pummelo, and citron. Within the last few thousand years, all common citrus fruits (sweet oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, and so on) all were created by crossing those original species. "
    Tangerines and mandarin (orange)s are closely related and I've often heard them both called Satsumas. I suspect the naming of these things is unregulated, although there are classification systems.

    Tangerines seem to be "mandarin" oranges that were originally shipped from Tangiers (hence the name, as I just found out:) and the nomenclature is still inconsistent:eek:
    From wiki:
    The tangerine (Citrus tangerina)[1] is an orange-colored citrus fruit that is closely related to, or possibly a type of, mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata).[citation needed]

    The name was first used for fruit coming from Tangier, Morocco, described as a mandarin variety.[2] Under the Tanaka classification system, Citrus tangerina is considered a separate species. Under the Swingle system, tangerines are considered to be a group of mandarin (C. reticulata) varieties.[3] While tangerines genetically resemble mandarins,[3] the genetics are still not thoroughly studied.[dubious ][4][5][6] The term is currently applied to any reddish-orange mandarin (and, in some jurisdictions, mandarin-like hybrids, including some tangors[7][8]), but the term "tangerine" may yet acquire a definite genetic meaning.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Tangerines and mandarin (orange)s are closely related and I've often heard them both called Satsumas.
    For me, a satsuma is a specific, small, orange citrus fruit which has a very loose peel - it seems to have air gaps between the peel and the fruit. I've seen them in southern California and southern Louisiana where people grow them in yards or sell them at roadside stands. I've very rarely seen them in specialty grocery stores (Sprouts, Whole Foods, ...) because they don't ship well.
    Citrus unshiu - Wikipedia
    Its fruit is "one of the sweetest citrus varieties, with a meltingly tender texture"[9] and usually seedless, about the size of other mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata). One of the distinguishing features of the satsuma is the thin, leathery skin dotted with large and prominent oil glands, which is lightly attached around the fruit, enabling it to be peeled very easily in comparison to other citrus fruits. The satsuma also has particularly delicate flesh, which cannot withstand the effects of careless handling. The uniquely loose skin of the satsuma, however, means that any such bruising and damage to the fruit may not be immediately apparent upon the typical cursory visual inspection associated with assessing the quality of other fruits.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    For me, a satsuma is a specific, small, orange citrus fruit which has a very loose peel - it seems to have air gaps between the peel and the fruit. I've seen them in southern California and southern Louisiana where people grow them in yards or sell them at roadside stands. I've very rarely seen them in specialty grocery stores (Sprouts, Whole Foods, ...) because they don't ship well.
    Citrus unshiu - Wikipedia
    Me too, but I've seen them also sold as mandarins and tangerines (and probably two-word combination names:eek: )- I think of a satsuma as a variety of mandarin (itself more a generic than a specific term:)) so satsumas (named from Satsuma province in Kyushu) and tangerines (from Tangiers) are kinds of mandarins. It's a bit like English: there's general agreement about a lot of things, and often a prescriptive system, but no regulatory body to nail the details for common usage.:D
     
    Last edited:

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In my part of the world, tangerines are generally sold under that name. You probably wouldn't have to ask anything in the produce section at the average supermarket. Instead, you would find them piled on a table somewhere in little mesh bags. If you did need to ask, you'd likely ask for tangerines.

    Mandarin orange slices are typically packed in juice or syrup over here and sold in cans. You'd find them in the aisle with other types of canned fruit.
    Your usage parallels mine. I always have heard of "mandarin oranges" but only "tangerines"; I have never heard of "tangerine oranges" and rarely ever hear of "mandarins".

    If I heard "mandarin" absent of "orange" I would assume the discussion was a language one centering on one of the main Chinese dialects.

    I would note that I usually hear "clementines" but sometimes hear "clementine oranges" for that variety.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Here's another discussion and post

    Clementines are seedless (usually) and honey-sweet. The Mandarins branded as "Cuties" and "Sweeties" are clementines. They're easier to peel than tangerines (though not as easy as satsumas), hence their popularity for children. Satsumas are the Mandarin oranges that are most often canned.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Just came across a poster - I knew I had printed it out and now I have the link. It reminded me of this thread, enjoy:D Tons of unfamiliar names of unfamiliar fruits (92 individuals).
     
    Last edited:

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In the UK we're pretty familiar with the names "mandarins", "tangarines", "clementines" and "satsumas". We "Limeys" are quite keen on our citrus fruit.* :)

    Satsumas always remind me of Christmas stockings at the end of the bed, because it used to be a tradition to put a satsuma in them for children to find on Christmas day. [I'm not sure they'd be very impressed by it these days! :D]

    [Great article, thanks Myridon. :thumbsup:]

    [* Although I'm not sure that most of us love them quite as much as this man: ' “There’s something fascinating, freaky, even sexy about citrus,” says pomologist David Karp...' National Geographic - link in post #17.]
     
    Last edited:

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Note that despite Julian's first quote in #11, the Geographic article says that blood oranges are a mutation from sweet oranges.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top