Locally Grown Ugly (Ugli) Tangerines at Carlsbad Ranch Market
Three weeks ago I made a quick stop on my way north to check out Tip Top. Yes, that’s a good-looking butcher case and certainly worth checking-out. But more interesting to me was the bin of citrus next door at Carlsbad Ranch Market.
The bin was overflowing with Ugly tangerines grown in Temecula, $1.99 per pound. A few years ago I’d met a member of the family that originally developed “Ugli Tangerines” TM in Jamaica so the name hooked me in. Reading the wiki for Ugli, these share some similarities but the color is quite different. Maybe that’s due to the difference in growing conditions or these could be a different cultivar altogether. In any case these locally grown Ugly tangerines are outstandingly delicious.
I dubbed them Shar pei puppy of citrus with extra skin that wrinkles and folds. The peel almost falls off by itself, and once peeled, the segments fall open to separate easily. Very sweet with complex, honeyed flavor almost like artificial orange candy in intensity, and the texture is firmish and bursting with juice.
The season started in May and is coming to a close. Hope you can catch them before they’re gone. And if anyone is driving north from SoCal, please bring me more.
Tip Top Meats & European Deli
6118 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Ranch Market
6118 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92011
During the winter when they're in season, I eat 3 to 5 Satsumas a day, I love them that much. I was on my way to LA from Carlsbad and shared them with my friend. She said that as much as she loves Satsumas, these knocked her out too. And since we can't get our beloved Satsumas now, we were more than happy with these. Otherwise, I don't bother with the dried out, bland tangerines/tangelos available now. I preferred the Ugly's to Pixies that are also available now.
The Ugly's tasted more concentrated and sweeter with less acid to me. There's a faint bitter back note like pink grapefruit too that makes them more complex in taste. Satsumas have a brighter flavor, maybe more acid to frame them, and their flesh has more pop feeling almost crisp.
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Is it just me or does 1.99/lb sound expensive for tangerines? Maybe I'm just too used to the super cheap asian market prices....