Saturday, January 21, 2006

Fruit: Tangerine: Page

We bought these at the Grand Lake Farmers' Market from the Lagier Ranch folks. The guy who works their booth right now is just astonishingly nice, and I'm a huge fan of their Bronx grapes, so I was disappointed to find that their satsumas were good but not great. It was with considerable happiness that I spied their Page Tangerines today, a bright orange that was visible from 20 or so feet away, providing an opportunity to spend some more money with the friendly guy.

Strictly speaking Page Tangerines are not, well, tangerines. Just what they are is up for debate:
The Churchill Orchard folks, describe them as a "tangor" - a tangerine and orange hybrid.

New Seasons Market (pdf) suggest that the parent varieties are the Clementine Mandarin and the Minneola Tangelo.

The University of Florida offers this deep dive: "While the Page (Figure 1) is considered an orange by some, it is actually a hybrid of Minneola tangelo and Clementine mandarin. Since Minneola is a grapefruit-tangerine hybrid, Page is actually 3/4 tangerine and 1/4 grapefruit. The cultivar was released in 1963 and came from a cross made in 1942 by Gardner and Bellows of the United States Department of Agriculture facility in Orlando."
I'm tempted to go with University of Florida, only they also describe the things as medium-thick skinned and relatively easy to peel. For my money, page tangerines are actually exceptionally thin-skinned and difficult to peel. The Lagier Ranches guy took pains to tell this to everyone who stopped by his stand.

Either way. the flesh of the fruit bears this hybridization out. It is intensely orange, and a good deal more densely juicy than satsumas.

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