Clementines in Season

In Season, Ingredient
on January 2, 2012
Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine! It’s no coincidence this sweet orange fruit shares its name with a woman who represents unparalleled affection and love—because this little peel-able is guaranteed to steal your heart.

One of the few juicy and seasonal fruits in the winter months, clementines are a thin-skinned hybrid between Chinese mandarin and Seville oranges. This combination creates a pretty and typically seedless fruit with a deep orange hue. Although we know clementines are a mainstay in the mandarin family, their place of origin is up for debate—many believe the unusual citrus-cross was either developed in Algeria by Father Clement Rodier, or somewhere in China. Today clementines are found mainly in other parts of the globe, being produced in Northern Africa and Spain with some crops stateside in Florida and California. 
Averaging at only 35 calories per fruit, small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, and boasting 35mg of vitamin C, clementines make a super simple snack for both kids and adults alike. If you want to expand their uses beyond snaking, try making a salad spiked with clementine slices or use them in place of oranges in a citrus dessert.
—By Emily Arno