The ‘kid glove orange’ adds a special touch to your table

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Dec 22, 2010 - 04:48 PM

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More often seen in cans rather than fresh in this area (just about every kitchen has one or two of these cans on the pantry shelf), the mandarin orange is a fruit so tender that it has been dubbed the "kid glove orange."

The mandarin is considered a native of southeast Asia and the Philippines. It is most abundantly grown in Japan, southern China, India and the East Indies. It gravitated to the western world in small steps. Two varieties arrived in England in 1805 and by 1850 they were established in Italy. Somewhere between 1840 and 1850 a variety of mandarin orange was imported by the Italian Consul and planted at the Consulate in New Orleans. It was carried from there to Florida and later to California. By 1893 other varieties of mandarin plants arrived in this country from Japan, India and China. Today commercial cultivation of mandarin oranges in the United States has developed mostly in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, and to a lesser extent in Texas, Georgia and California.