Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Inconsistent Fruit..don't bother.

If you take a look in my fruit bowl you can see them. See them there? Those little orange fruits nestling under the apples, slightly forgotten and no doubt slowly going mouldy.

I'm not really sure what they are called. They appear in the shops in early December and then hang around until late January to be replaced by the new season of Seville oranges.

There are many different varieties of these orange fruits and that is exactly what makes it difficult for me. I seriously can't tell then difference between them simply by looking.

What is worse is that I have, in the past, been ridiculed for not being able to identify these pesky fruits.

So here I ask the question,

What exactly is the difference between clementines, tangerines, satsumas, mini clementines and mandarins?

Here is a picture of the relevant supermarket shelf. These pesky orange fruits are sold next to each other, but which ones should I buy?
Well I did a little bit of research and discovered this:
Clementines - are small oranges with a honey sweet flavour. Seedless with a tight shiny skin;
Mandarins - small and sweet, they have seeds!;
Satsumas - seedless with loose skin making them easy to peel. Easily bruised. Very easily confused with clementines but the loose peel is the give away.
Tangerines - smaller than oranges with bright orange skin. Slightly looser skins than oranges.
Is this any clearer? I'm not sure that it is.
My real problem with these fruit is that they are inconsistent. If you munch on a banana or a variety of apple you know what you are going to get. You have consistency. A banana is a banana. However these little seasonal oranges are inconsistent.
Sometimes the skin is easy to peel, sometimes not. Sometimes they are sweet, sometimes watery. Sometimes they are soft and perfect, sometimes the pith is chewy and hard to swallow.
Inconsistent fruit, it gets on my wick. I can't be bothered with these fruits. Just make up your mind. You are either sweet or watery, just choose. Quite often these fruits just don't live up to expectations. If you buy them I suggest that you keep the receipt and be ready to take them back complaining about their discrepancy, or you could just fill up a child's stocking with this worthless one of your five a day. What's that about? Is it parents trying to balance out the effects of the chocolate selection pack? Forget the pesky orange fruit, trust me the kids will!
There is one fruit which is more inconsistent, and that is the summer peach. They look delicious, you have a couple and savour the sweet juice as it runs down your chin. You can't wait for lunch so that you can eat the next one from the pack. Then you bite into it. It's powdery and tastes horrid. Nothing is worse than a powdery peach. After my considerable experience with inconsistent peaches I stay well clear, and don't get me started on nectarines.

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