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Clementines that actually taste good

Can anyone recommend any good clementines? Ones that are actually seedless and sweet? I got one bag from Trader Joe's last week that was from Chile and they were amazing. This week they were from Morocco and they are awful. I am looking for ones that are similar to the tiny oranges you get in China. I'm not sure what they are called in China, but they are tiny, very orange, very sweet, seedless, and peel easily. We've had them there several times. Great for kids.

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  1. they have those small ones from china at local chinese markets like Ming's and Cmart...they're *not* that sweet though. I'm not sure where they grow them, but the ones we tried in china last month were *much* sweeter :-(

    1. Not exactly clementines, but Whole Foods has been stocking satsuma mandarins for several weeks and they're very good. More sweet and tart than super-sweet, but much more flavorful and juicy than most clementines. Russo's has had them in the past as well, almost certainly at a lower price than WF, but I haven't looked there lately.

      Less shelf life than most clementines, so check them for soft spots, and note that the attached stems (which look very nice) sometimes poke holes in their neighbors in the bin.

      Also not a bargain source, but Formaggio Kitchen usually has a really excellent supply of unusual and frequently delicious citrus fruits in the winter months.

      6 Replies
      1. re: MichaelB

        Arax often has an amazing supply of citrus in Watertown for much cheaper....sour oranges, sweet lemons, all kinds. A great selection.

        1. re: MichaelB

          Second the satsumas... they're so much better that they've pretty much spoiled me on clementines. It's just a shame that the season is so short. Get some while you can.

          1. re: MichaelB

            I got satsuma mandarins in a net bag for $4 at Hong Kong supermarket. So delicious and fresh. Seedless, easy to peel.

            1. re: MichaelB

              We were lucky to score a bag of about a dozen satsumas on the bargain rack at Russo's on Sunday for 99 cents! So far they've been sweet and juicy. Even the one I got last night with a soft spot on the bottom turned out to be fine inside - not spoiled at all.

              (Speaking of the bargain rack, we also scored 4 dead-ripe Hass avocados - perfect for a nice batch of guacamole.)

              1. re: Allstonian

                I scored a bag today on the bargain rack at Russo's and as you said --- SO juicy and sweet. Great tip!

              2. re: MichaelB

                Thanks for the tip. The satsumas at WF last week were SO much better than the clementines I've been getting.

              3. You're still a few weeks early for the really good stuff.

                1. I got some nice Spanish ones from Costco a week or two ago. But they were on the large side for Clementines.

                  1. I got clementines from Market Basket this week from Spain. They are awful - no juice, hard to peel, very hard. I think they were picked way too early. Of course, I have a whole box of them. Ugh.

                    I lived in New Orleans for several years, and at this time of the year, the satsumas are wonderful. I had California satsumas from Whole Foods last week, and they were yummy. I will go back to those after I finish (dispose of?) these clementines.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: maestrette

                      I've been buying boxes at MB the last couple of weeks. They are ok, not the juiciest or the sweetest, but edible and the kids like them. Didn't notice a peeling issue.

                      1. re: LStaff

                        Sounds like the MB ones I got last week, which are from Morocco. Are yours? The Spanish ones I saw there looked less ripe. I think it's just early in the season.

                    2. Got the Moroccan ones from TJs yesterday. They were passable. Still waiting for the really good Spanish ones. However, when I buy them from WF, I always taste one first. They don't mind at all if you do...if I like them, I buy the whole box.

                      1. You're looking for satsuma mandarins, and they have a short season that is coming to an end.

                        Clementines, like tangelos (the season for which is the second half of winter), are often not very tasty early in the season. They tend to improve in quality closer to Christmas.

                        1. Recommend you check the label for packing date and country of origin. I have seen some clementines packaged in August from Chile for sale in in November that were terrible; dry and tasteless.

                          1. Lesson: Don't buy citrus from Trader Joe's.

                            What you're looking for are "Cuties", which have been available for a while (and are wonderful). Check your local whole-foods store and buy cuties or satsumas or other mandarins.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              While the fresh produce at Trader Joe's is highly variable, I have gotten excellent citrus there on many occasions: mandarins, satsumas and, a couple of months ago, the best naval oranges I've had all year. Lemons and limes can be good too, especially for the price.

                              1. re: katzzz

                                Totally agree, hits and misses just like anywhere.

                            2. A few days ago I got some great citrus at Star Market on Mount Auburn Street in Cambridge. It's labeled "royal mandarin" and still has the stems and leaves attached. $2 a pound.

                              This page from Sunkist discusses different types of citrus, by the way: http://www.sunkist.com/products/seaso...

                              1 Reply