Friday, February 11, 2011

The Darling Clementine

Photo from Wikipedia
From late October and into February, we enjoy the wonderful, aromatic clementine.
The other evening, I brought a bowl of them down for the wii bowlers. It came as a surprise that a few had never eaten one or even heard of them. How can that be? Do they live under a rock?

Clementines are the tiniest of the mandarins. They are found in Spain, Morocco, and other parts of North Africa. They are a cross between a sweet orange and the Chinese mandarin.

Small, sweet, and seedless, they make a great snack or an early morning alternative to that glass of juice.

"A clementine is a hesperidium, of a variety of mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) so named in 1902. The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. Clementines separate easily into seven to fourteen moderately-juicy segments. They are very easy to peel, like a tangerine, but are almost always seedless. Clementines are also known as seedless tangerines. They are typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than oranges.

Their oils, like other citrus fruits, contain mostly limonene as well as myrcene, linalool, α-pinene and many complex aromatics."

I love the aroma that fills the room when I peel one.  Now I know that it is because of the complex aromatics.  The one thing I didn't expect was the overpowering aroma of fifteen being peeled at once. It was intoxicating.   Bring a bowl of them out on a cold and snowy evening and watch them disappear.  The scent reminds you of tropical breezes. 

If you are looking for a different morning eye opener, or something to have while watching tv, give the clementine a try.

The best thing about this treat?  There are 35 calories in a clementine.