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PlacerGROWN: Mandarins Are In Season

Nov 04, 2019 01:42PM

WHAT’S IN SEASON: MANDARINS 

It’s mandarin season—and we have about 200 producing acres right in our backyard. In addition to being a sweet, seedless, and easy-to-peel snack, these citrus gems have a unique property to help you get through cold and flu season: the phytochemical synephrine, a natural decongestant.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Every mandarin in Placer County is handpicked and many of our local craft breweries use the juice for their mandarin IPA. Visit a local brewery and join us on November 16-18 for the Mountain Mandarin Festival at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. Come for the entertainment, local beer and wine tasting, cooking demonstrations, food vendors, and lots of tasty PlacerGROWN mandarins!

 

NUTRITION

A 2008 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found Placer County mandarins (the Owari Satsuma variety) have synephrine concentrations up to six times higher than values previously documented in orange juice. According to the study, 10 ounces of mandarin juice contained as much synephrine as one over-the-counter decongestant pill. Along with vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron, mandarins are a healthful snack choice for all ages.

 

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Choose mandarins that are firm and heavy for their size. Mandarins may be stored for a few days in a cool, dark spot when spread into a single layer. Mandarin juice freezes well in small portions. Try using ice cube trays, then transfer cubes to a storage bag or container in the freezer for use throughout the year.

 

For details on where to buy Placer County farm-fresh produce, wine, meat, and other products, visit placergrown.org and foothillfarmersmarket.com.

 

RECIPE: Mandarin Mimosa Cocktail

Recipe by Courtney McDonald

 

4-5 mandarins

1 oz. Grand Marnier

3 oz. dry Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine

 

Wash and dry the mandarins. Remove the zest from 1, then cut the ends off of the zested mandarin. Place the mandarin on a cutting board with one of the cut sides down and using a sharp knife and starting from the top of the mandarin and slicing downwards, cut the peel from the mandarin. You should see flesh only, remove all of the white pith. Then carefully cut between the membranes of the mandarin to make peeled segments.  Set aside—these mandarin segments will be used for garnish. Alternatively, you can hand peel the mandarin and break the segments apart with the membrane on. 

Cut 3 more of the mandarins in half and squeeze the juice.  Add juice to the reserved zest. You should have about 2 ounces of juice.

Measure out 1 ounce of Grand Marnier into a chilled champagne flute or coupe. Add 2 ounces of the mandarin juice with zest, and top with 3 ounces of Prosecco or other sparkling wine. Garnish with the mandarin segments and a cut round of mandarin for the glass rim, if desired. Serve immediately. Makes 1 serving.



Season's Eatings photo by Courtney McDonald of Four Tines Farm.