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The Difference between Oranges, Mandarins, Tangerine, Satsumas and Clementines


Oranges are a popular citrus fruit commonly served as a nutritious snack or juiced for a sweet and colourful drink. With varieties that range from big, palm-sized fruits with navels or smaller fruits with a pink or deep red flesh, oranges are simply sweet and juicy on their own and are a wonderful addition to many recipes.


Mandarins are a type of orange citrus, and as one may have deduced by the name, originated from China. They come in a variety of sizes but all are typically smaller than oranges. Furthermore, the segments are smaller and tend to have a sweeter flavour. The colour of the skin ranges from orange to reddish hue. Their skin ranges in thickness, but is usually loosely attached to the fruit, making it easier to peel than an orange. Typically in grocery stores, fruit that is labeled as “mandarins” are actually tangerines.

Tangerines, satsumas and clementines are all special varieties of mandarin oranges.


Tangerines are a special type of mandarin, and are distinguished by their deeper red hue. Many people refer to tangerines as both tangerines and mandarins; it can be confusing as not all mandarins are tangerines but all tangerines are mandarins. Tangerines are a type of mandarin that have a loose, thin skin that’s easy to peel, and a sweet flavour. They are distinctly larger than satsumas or clementines, but are still smaller than an orange. They typically have a few seeds in each fruit. Tangerines are commonly sold in grocery stores with the leaves still attached, and as mentioned before, they can be labeled as “mandarins”.




Satsumas, like tangerines, are another special type of mandarin. They have loose skin that can be bumpy, making it hard to detect bruises. They are smaller than tangerines, like clementines. Their sweet, typically seedless fruit is what makes them popular, but they are also often praised for their hardiness under the canning process. Most canned mandarins are actually canned satsumas.




Clementines, again, are another special type of mandarin, and this variety is wildly popular around December holidays. Traditionally, they were included in children’s Christmas stockings. Kids love eating clementines because they’re easy to peel and sweet to eat! The difference between a satsuma and a clementine is that a satsuma’s skin is typically thicker and looser while clementines have a thinner skin that is tight to the fruit. Often, grocery stores will label both satsuma and clementine as a clementine.

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