I always get incredibly excited when I have my first mandarin of the season. There is nothing like the amazing juiciness; sweet and not quite as acidic as orange. I think it is the fact that you go so long without them, that by the time you eat them again, you almost forget what they taste like until that amazing first segment. Mandarins remind me of being little. Picking the fruit off my dad’s best friend’s tree and eating them until I was sick. Of seeing mandarin seeds all over the house like breadcrumbs leading us pack to the fruit bowl. We would buy boxes of them and not a single one would go to waste.
I am all kinds of fussy when it comes to mandarins. I love them at the beginning of the season, the massive mandarins with the skin so loose that that you can peel it off in one piece. But come the change of type, and this little traveller taps out. No thank you. I’m done.
Mandarins are the only fruit that I love to play with as I peel. You can pull off all the white skin and slowly savour the taste of the bursts of the tiny bubbles as they pop in your mouth.
They remind me that despite growing up, I’m still a child inside.