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Winter delights, small citrus fruit

Tangerines, mandarin oranges and clementines: sweet small citrus fruits rich in fibres. A cocktail of aromas and tranquillity. A cocktail of winter.

The sweetest of all citrus fruits and the children’s favourite one is mandarin orange. It doesn’t exclusively contain sugars but it also contains vitamin A, C and group B, and a larger amount of calcium and phosphorus than oranges. Its bromide salts calm the nervous system and induce sleep. In Italy there are two varieties of this bright-coloured citrus fruit: Avana – the so-called common mandarin orange – and Ciaculli, a varietal that spontaneously originated from common mandarin oranges that is renowned for its extraordinary sweetness. Not are the segments of mandarin oranges edible: in pastry making the sweet and fragrant juice is used to season cream, Bavarese, custard and other desserts. Its peel is used to prepare traditional liqueurs.

 

mandarin oranges children
Children love mandarin oranges.

 

Other types of citrus fruit

In winter, it’s also time for clementines and tangerines. The formers are a cross between bitter oranges and Avana mandarin oranges; they’re juicy, refreshing and they don’t contain seeds. The latters are a cross between mandarin oranges and sweet oranges, they look like very small oranges and are much appreciated by consumers: indeed, these are Italy’s second most cultivated grapefruits, the first being oranges. Rare and renowned, this is a variety of tengerines with red juice that are a cross with Tarocco oranges.

 

tangerines tarocco orange
Tangerines with red juice are a cross of mandarin oranges and Tarocco oranges.

 

How many secrets in the peel

The peel of citrus fruits is very rich in beta-carotene. It contains aromatic essences that are involved in the process of neutralisation of carcinogenic agents of the body. Scientific studies revealed that the pectins contained in the white part of the peel lower cholesterol levels. If you want to use it as ingredient in your dishes, dry it and then mince it. Yet, it’s necessary that the fruits be organic.

 

mandarin orange peel
The peel of mandarin oranges are rich in beneficial properties.

 

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