Where Are The Tangerines?

When I was little, citrus fruits were seldom available except around Christmas. Well, actually, fruits such as oranges and grapefruits were available for a more extended period. You could buy an orange from the school cafeteria for about 6 cents. A bowl of soup for 8 cents. Schools did not have vending machines dispensing junk foods back then.


The oranges may have been available at school and from grocers for a couple of the winter months, but tangerines were seldom seen except around Christmas time. I always ate a 'bait' of them. We were poor and were rationed Christmas delicacies such as Mama's coconut and German's chocolate cakes and her hickory smoked and sugar cured hams.

But tangerines? That was the one Christmas specialty I could eat all I wanted, and I did. They weren't messy to eat, had very few seeds and a delicious, unique flavor unlike any other citrus fruit.

Over the years, I saw less and less of them. This year and last, I saw none, save a new seedless, lab created variety. I chose not to give it a try. It didn't even look like the real tangerine of yesteryear.

I consulted online gift shops and growers who sold citrus fruits retail. These suppliers who normally offered tangerines, had none to sell this year. It seems some act of Nature had devastated many orchards.

In an effort to appease my need for the tangerine, I experimented with other small citrus fruits that somewhat resemble the tangerine. Halos, I can forget. The Cutie, a small mandarin my sister raves about, left me cold.

I broadened my search into other areas, hoping to find any citrus fruit I could appreciate as I did the tangerine. Cara Cara oranges are one I won't be trying again next year. The same goes for blood oranges and tangelos. Valencias are pretty good, if you can find them. The Page orange, in my opinion, the best orange in the world, to my knowledge is seldom seen outside Florida

I will give the navel orange a decent score. It is a very good orange, and plentiful, but then, it is an orange. My beloved tangerine was so delicious, there's even a swing song bearing the title 'Tangerine' and the lyrics 'Her heart belongs to Tangerine'. I simply can't imagine Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole on stage and before a microphone, crooning the lyrics 'Her heart belongs to navel orange'.

Have tangerines gone the way of the Dodo? Am I to never see one again? ThriftyFun must have members in every state. I ask you, did any of you see tangerines at the grocers this year? Have any of you heard or read anything about the plight of the orchards and if a recovery is expected?

I've eaten a half dozen large Navel oranges this morning, trying to get my tangerine fix. It ain't working.

Is there any hope?


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May 28, 20190 found this helpful
Best Answer

I love citrus!! Love it! Your story reminds me of one my late friend always told me that she would get an orange, a tangerine, an apple and a piece of candy in her Christmas stocking when she was young. One year when she was going through something very bad, I gave her a stocking like her childhood one to cheer her up. She loved it!

So that said, I agree that they are impossible to find in stores. Pittsburgh is not the best for "fancy" groceries anyhow...and tangerines have become the unicorn, replaced by Mandarins (Halos and Cuties) whose companies do lots of advertising and have lots of coupons.


I see that Amazon has them (or so they say they do). I am not a fan of Amazon after a few bad experiences, but they do show them on their sale pages (for a small fortune):

www.amazon.com/.../b?ie=UTF8&node=2255611011 (Affiliate Link)

I hope you can get some through this venue!! Post back with an update!!

Blessings and thank you for bringing back a memory that reminded me of my dear friend!

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May 28, 20190 found this helpful

Thanks, Miz Pitts

I too have had a couple of bad experiences with orders from Amazon. I'll have to say though, they made things right straight away and were very nice about it.

Glad I rustled up some soul stirring memories for you.

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