My recent visit to HEB Central Market in Austin yielded two new citrus finds: Gold Nugget mandarins and Varigated Pink Lemons. A Los Angeles Times 2006 article, “Mad About Mandarins” cleared up my confusion about mandarins and tangerines. Tangerines are really mandarins. Mandarins were labeled tangerines in the mid-19 century because the first imported mandarins came from the Moroccon port of Tangiers.
The Gold Nugget mandarins are seedless and intensely sweet. I wish that I had bought a dozen more.
The Varigated Pink Lemons are almost seedless and have a strong, tart flavor. They would make an excellent lemon meringue pie.
Anther interesting fact that I learned from the Los Angeles Times article is that there are three original families of citrus: mandarins, pummelos, and citrons. Lemons, limes, organges, grapefruit, and all other citrus are hybrids due to cross-breeding from these three groups. Prunes, plums, and now citrus—I learn something new every day.