Fruits Like Mandarin (10 Substitutes That Look And Taste Similar)

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Fruits like mandarin

If you’re looking for fruits like mandarin, we’ve got you covered. We’ve compiled a list of 10 substitutes that look and taste similar to the mandarin, below.

Oranges

Oranges fresh harvest

Mandarins and oranges are both citrus fruits, which means that they have overlapping benefits and that neither can be said to be superior to the other. Both are rich in Beta-carotene, which gives them their orange colours — although mandarins have slightly more than oranges. They’re also a good source of vitamin C and soluble fiber. This means they both make a healthier snack. However, when juiced and not eaten as a fruit, you might not enjoy the full fiber benefits of both fruits. Fruit juices also are often sweetened and have additives added to them, which means they might not be suitable for those trying to cut back on their sugar levels. 

Satsumas

Satsuma fruit

The satsuma is a variety of the mandarin orange that originated from Japan and is slightly larger than the mandarin. It’s one of the juiciest citrus fruits you can get and is one of the sweetest. It’s also a seedless and easy to peel fruit, making it great for snacking on. Unlike the tangerine its skin is almost leathery and is also oily, making it easy to identify visually. It’s also slightly more sensitive as its skin is thinner and more fragile. Because it’s so sweet and easy to eat, it’s usually enjoyed by itself.

Tangerines

Clementines peeled

The tangerine most resembles the orange , although its skin is thinner and easier to peel. It’s also smaller and rounder than an orange as it’s sweeter too. It’s thought that it originates from Tangier in Morocco. It’s easy to confuse it with the mandarin, as it’s actually a subspecies of the mandarin. However, while all tangerines are mandarin oranges, not all mandarin oranges are tangerines. You can usually tell them apart by their skin. The skin of a tangerine is usually darker and more red in colour, while the mandarin is usually a lighter orange hue.

Clementines

Tangerines in bowl

Clementines are amongst the smallest citrus fruits. They also have little to no seeds and a very soft and thin skin. It also tends to be brighter orange in colour with much smoother, shinier skin and a more oval and squat shape. They’re also much less acidic and are naturally sweeter. This makes them popular with children or anyone who finds the taste of larger citrus fruits too tart and sour. Because they’re usually in season during December and January, they’re often called Christmas oranges in the USA.

Sweet Lime

Sweet lime

Although it’s a member of the citrus family, this fruit is a type of sweet lemon that’s native to Iran and parts of the Meditteranean. It’s a small fruit that grows on trees that rarely exceed eight feet in height and when ripe has a green and orange appearance. It’s usually consumed as a freshly squeezed juice which tastes sweet and mild when fresh but rapidly turns bitter as it comes into contact with air. Unlike other citrus fruits it isn’t very acidic. While it’s easy to find in India, it’s somewhat rare to find it produced outside the Indian subcontinent. If you manage to find any, it’s said to pair well when mixed with vodka.

Tangelos

Tangelo

This fruit’s name says it all, as it’s a cross between the tangerine or mandarin orange and pomelo or grapefruit. It’s most distinguishing characteristic is that it has a small bud at its top where it is attached to the stem, which is why some people call it the honeybell. However, it’s also known as the minneola. While it isn’t very fleshy, it’s still very juicy. However its taste is tarter and tangier than most citrus fruits. This fruit is primarily grown in the USA, but as the tree can take up to two years to bear fruit and it generally produces low yields, few other countries have attempted to cultivate it.

Pomelo

Pomelo cut open

The pomelo is one of the largest citrus fruits you can get your hands on, and it’s also one of the few non-hybrid citrus fruits you can purchase. It’s native to Asia, and is often consumed during celebrations or special occasions in countries like China. In terms of taste, it’s flavored like a grapefruit but is sweeter. It’s membranes are unusually bitter compared to other citrus fruits. However its rinds are often preserved or candied, which is unusual. It’s consumed with sugar or combined with grapefruit juice to make a refreshing beverage.

Bitter Oranges

Bitter orange fruit

The bitter orange differs from other citrus fruits in that its raw pulp is inedible. The fruit is native to Spain. It’s primarily used for its essential oils (which is used in fragrances or food flavorings) and its Seville orange variety is often used to make compotes and marmalade, as it’s high in pectin, which makes it set better and generates a higher yield. Its peels are sometimes dried and added to curaçao liqueur and the fruit itself is also used in traditional recipes for duck à l’orange, a French dish. It’s peel is also pickled, or dried and ground to be used in baking.

Buddha’s Hands

Buddha's hands

This arresting fruit looks unusual, and its fingers can be open handed or closed handed. It originates in Southeast Asia, which gives it its name. Unlike other fruits, it has very little pulp and is usually seedless and juiceless. Despite this its white fresh is extremely fragrant and is often used as a religious offering Buddhist temples or to fragrance rooms in people’s homes. However, it’s flesh is also edible when used as a zest and flavoring which can be added to alcohol or sweet and savory dishes. Its flesh is also used for traditional and medicinal purposes.

Chinottos

Chinottos

Many citrus fruits can’t be directly consumed for their flesh, but have applications in drinks. The Chinotto is one of them. Its trees are similar to the myrtle tree, and the tree is primarily grown in Malta, Libya as well as parts of France and Italy. It produces small bitter orange fruits which are primarily used to flavor the popular orange-flavored apéritif called Campari. It’s also used to a range of soft drinks which resembles cola. However, it’s less sugary and has a more bittersweet taste.

Citrus fruits can be found in abundance in most parts of the world. Thanks to natural evolution and deliberate cultivation, dozens of varieties have been developed — each of which has its own unique qualities. If you ever get a chance to try these fruits that taste similar to the mandarin orange, you’ll be in for a treat.

   

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