Friday, February 22, 2013

California v. Spanish clementines

I did it again.  I do it every year.  I made the mistake of buying California clementines.

The Spanish ones are so great, at least when in season in January and February.  They're so sweet and juicy!  The peel easily.  They don't have seeds.  I love them.  My son loves them.  

Then, sometimes, I can't find the Spanish ones.  Like this week I bought some from California.  I passed over the box that said it was tangerines from Florida.  I already knew those weren't going to be good.  Somehow I thought the California ones would be better.


First, I notice some kind of orange dye on the inside of the peels.  Yuck.  Do they think I'm not going to see this? Do they think I'm an idiot?  The Spanish ones don't have orange dye.  The inside of the peels is a natural, white color.

Also they are very shiny.  The package clearly states that they are covered with wax.  Ick.  

I usually eat just a smidgeon of the peel, because I believe it probably has important nutrients in it.  I don't eat the whole peel, because it gives me too much gas, but just a smidgeon.  Of course, if the peel is covered with wax, I'm going to skip this aspect.

Then the taste: also yuck.  It becomes apparent why these suckers were dyed.  They were picked and shipped when green.  They don't have that nice, sweet ripened on the tree flavor.  

It's true some of the Spanish ones did go rotten before I finished them -- but that was because they were picked ripe & were natural fruit.  It was worth it, because they're so good.

The California ones are likely not going to go rotten as quickly.  That's because they're not good.  The micro-organisms notice that and pass on them.

Hey, California, get your act together!  I'm an American.  I would buy American if the product is good.  I'm not going to buy American if the product is lousy.



Looking at the packaging again, I see that the California product, though it says "Darling" just like the clementines, and is in a package that looks similar to the clementines, actually also says "mandarin" on it -- so they are mandarin oranges that are packaged to look like clementines.  This is clearly deceptive packaging, which makes the substandard product on the inside all the more insidious.

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