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[Photo: Robyn Lee]

Peel off the loose skin of a mandarin orange and you have a perfectly portioned snack. I love eating mandarin oranges when I'm alone in my apartment; long after I've eaten the segments, I can still sniff the orange on my fingertips.

Peak season for mandarin oranges is from early winter to early spring. They are smaller than regular oranges and are easier to peel; even in early March, grocery stores have stacks of clementines in crates, or piles of the bagged fruit.

Satsumas, clementines, and tangerines are all varieties of mandarin oranges, along with satsumas, according to Purdue University. Mandarin oranges that have more of a red-orange color are marketed as tangerines. Tangelos are a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine. Use the small oranges in salads, cakes, and drinks.

Recipes

Cook The Book: Mandarin Sorbet
Clementine Pound Cake [SavvyJulie via food52.com]
Wake-Up Call: Blood Orange Citrus Cooler
Deborah Madison's Tangelo-Tangerine Pudding
Cook The Book: Easy Ambrosia

How do you eat mandarin oranges?

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