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Mar 12, 2007 10:28 AM

Mineola, a citrus fruit

I spotted these in Fairway supermarket, on Long Island, this past weekend ($2.59 a pound). Didn't know anything about them, but they were such fresh, vibrant specimens that I figured I couldn't go very wrong. It peeled like a tangerine, felt tangerine-like in the mouth, but tasted like a lovely light, sweet orange. A Google search revealed that the Mineola is a cross between tangerines and grapefruits, but I didn't detect the grapefruit heritage.

Really delicious and very pretty. I'd love to see these more widely available.

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  1. Hmmm ... isn't Mineola the name of a variety of tangelo, not a separate species of fruit? They've been widely available in California for years -- probably one of the most commonly available varieties in the tangerine genre. I suppose it's possible they've just now made it to Long Island. You're right, though, that they're an excellent fruit that combines a lot of the good qualities of different citrus varieties. I have two in my bag right now!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      You are correct on the name Ruth. there are three main types of tangelos. They are all named after growing regions in Florida; Minneola, Orlando, and Seminole.

      Tangelos are hybrids of tangerines and pomelos.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I had a tree .. no more house I ate hundreds, My mom also has a tree, they are wonderful.
        Yes 1/2 tangerine and 1/2 grapefruit
        Very sweet, great fruit. It is wonderful with fresh fish, shrimp, scallops even chicken and lots of uses. Great with vodka and a little grenadine and a lime. Marinades and salad dressings. I love them.

      2. I thought they were tangelos too. Pretty common on the West Coast of the US too. I have two in my fruit bowl now.

        4 Replies
        1. re: lisaf

          I've been seeing them in most supermarkets on Long Island for the past 10+ years. Sometimes they are referred to as Minneola Tangelos, sometimes just as Minneola Oranges. They always have that distinct cap on the top that makes me think about the "honeybells" that get advertised in the papers in mid-winter. I've been able to get them at Stop & Shop, Pathmark & Waldbaums in addition to specialty grocers like H-Mart. They don't carry them all year round but they are usually available in the winter. And yes, they have the nice tangerine tang although they also have similarities to oranges.

          1. re: PapaT

            I saw them last night at a Pathmark in New Hyde Park @ .66 each.

            1. re: PapaT

              From what I've read online, Honeybells and Minneolas are supposed to be the same thing. However, Minneolas seem to be common all across the country, but folks on the Florida board have stated that Honeybells rarely make it outside their state since they are so coveted. Maybe someone can explain this contradiction. I somewhat suspect that some of what gets labeled Honeybell or Minneola are not the genuine article as I noticed some contain quite a few seeds, but I understand they should be virtually seedless.

              1. re: PapaT

                I have not been home [Queens] in 20 years. You guys have H Marts up there?

            2. I don't buy oranges any more, if I can find Mineola's. They are almost always sweet (and peel much easier) as opposed to oranges that quite often are not sweet and quite often tastless and dry (probably a result of breeding and processing relative to factory farming).

              1. Vandaag zijn de eerste Mineola’s uit Peru bij Agrexco aangekomen. Evenals voorgaande jaren zullen deze Mineola’s vanwege hun uitstekende kwaliteit onder de merknaam Carmel vermarkt worden.

                This Tangerine-like fruit is een cross between grapefruit and the Dancy-tangerine.The Color is bright orange an ist an “easy peeler”. As well as the taste as the Flavour is caracteristic for this fruit,and it comes from Peru its also calles Carmel

                4 Replies
                1. re: verano

                  I'm a Florida transplant who is basking in citrus. Oranges, Grapefruit, Starfruit, Tangerines, all going to waste due to the abundance. I knock on doors, ask if I can pick and I'm warmly welcomed. People cannot give it away fast enough around here.

                  HOWEVER, I have only come across one Mineola tree. It was like the holy grail. And honeybells? Uhhm, NO, you're not getting them outside this state. They are coveted, hidden, savored. You may have gotten a sweet orange, but a true honeybell is a rarity and not even I, the Citrus Baron, have landed a honeybell tree. I've traded a few coveted fruits for honeybells amongst the people who sell a few at the local farmers' markets.

                  Angela, if you got a "light" orange flavor, you either got something besides a Mineola, or got it too early. These are as sweet as honey, with a concentrated orange taste. Picked at ripeness, in February, these things cannot be cut open without literally exploding juice across your kitchen. The batch I had were mostly bigger than grapefruits, and at 2.59 a pound would have been at least $3 a piece. Thank God for vacant houses with fruit trees!


                  1. re: streetman

                    Many sites on line where you can order honeybells. If I remember correctly the Mineola is the cross between the grapefruit and tangerine, the honey bell is a cross between the grapefruit, tangerine and orange.

                    But regardless, all great.

                    1. re: streetman

                      Minneola tangelos have been around for about 75 years. Honeybells are the same thing, just a marketing gimmick. Sounds like it's working, at least in Florida


                    2. re: verano

                      Welcome to chowhound Netherlander !

                      Lekkebekka and new herring are my favorites.

                    3. One of the characteristics of the minneola is the nipple at one end, found in many, but not all of them. I have no idea if the honeybells we have shipped to us every year are "real" honeybells or not, but they are fabulous - we juice them, and it's glorious on a cold January morning. We can also buy minneolas, sometimes, and they aren't any more expensive than blood oranges, usually less. It's wonderful.