Tangerines

ORANGE,TANGERINE and MANDARIN are common names for citrus fruit of several trees. Different varieties include the sweet orange, the sour orange, and the mandarin orange, or tangerine.

The Navel Orange, so named for their “belly button” at the blossom end, were discovered in the 1820’s as an unusual growth on a Salata tree in Salvador, Brazil, but are believed to have originated in China. It’s a large seedless fruit, that’s juicy and sweet with thick skins that make it easy to peel and section for eating. The Cara Cara resembles a regular Navel, but the inside is a gorgeous deep salmon color. The taste is sweet and juicy. This unique variety originated at the Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela in the early 1970s, and are a new addition to the California, San Joaquin Valley.

Valencia, first named Excelsior, is considered the worlds most important orange. Believed to be of Spanish origin, the variety actually became of interest in the Azores and is almost certainly of old Portuguese origin. The rind is thin and leathery, the interior bright orange, with a high juice content and sweet flavor. Valencias typically have 2-4 seeds per fruit.

Tangerine is the common name for a variety of Mandarin orange. The mandarin orange is native to southeastern Asia and has been widely cultivated in orange-growing regions of the world. The tangerine resembles the orange but is smaller and oblate in shape and has a more pungent odor, a thinner rind, and sections that may be readily separated. It has a food value comparable to that of the orange, but the fruit is more delicate and subject to damage in handling.

The Satsuma Mandarin is believed to have originated in Japan probably in the mid-sixth century A.D. It acquired its name in 1878 by the wife of Gen. Van Valkenberg, the U.S. Minister to Japan. Satsuma’s have a mild sweet flavor, full of juice, virtually no seeds, pebbly in texture and the interior is a bright orange. This fruit peels and segments easily.

The fruit of all these varieties is technically a hesperidium, a kind of berry. It consists of several easily separated carpels, or sections, each containing several seeds and many juice cells, covered by a leathery exocarp, or skin, containing numerous oil glands. Orange trees are evergreens, seldom exceeding 9 m (30 ft) in height. The leaves are oval and glossy and the flowers are white and fragrant. Three essential oils are obtained from oranges: oil of orange, obtained from the rind of the fruit and used principally as a flavoring agent; oil of petigrain, obtained from the leaves and twigs and used in perfumery; and oil of neroli, obtained from the blossoms and used in flavorings and perfumes.

In the United States the principal orange-producing states are Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona. From 1991 to 1992 the yield of oranges in the United States was about 10 million metric tons. The principal crops of the western growers consist of the Valencia and the Bahia, or Washington navel orange, imported from Bahia, Brazil, in 1870, and developed in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The navel orange is a seedless orange, with medium-thick rind, in which a second small, or abortive, orange grows. A variety of the Washington navel orange is the principal orange product of Texas.

The sour orange is cultivated to a limited extent for marmalade and to provide rootstock for less vigorous strains. About 20 percent of the total crop of oranges is sold as whole fruit; the remainder is used in preparing frozen and canned orange juice, extracts, and preserves.

Basic Nutritional Facts:

  • Low fat
  • Saturated fat-free
  • Sodium-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • A good source of vitamin C

Scientific classification:

Oranges belong to the genus Citrus, of the family Rutaceae. The sweet orange is classified as Citrus sinensis; the sour, or Seville, orange as Citrus aurantium; and the mandarin orange, or tangerine, as Citrus reticulata.

Strawberries

The strawberry you eat is not really a fruit or a berry but is the enlarged receptacle of the flower.

Strawberries are grown in every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada. California produces 80% of the nation’s strawberries, providing almost a year-round supply. California strawberry growers and researchers, along with help from the most ideal growing conditions, work together to produce the highest quality strawberries you can buy.

There are approximately 700 strawberry growers in California producing fruit on over 20,000 acres annually. The strawberry shipping season begins in January in the southern part of the state and moves north with the warming springtime temperatures. Volume peaks in April and May when all production areas overlap. During this time, weekly volume can approach 5 million trays or just over 9 million pounds a day.

Strawberries were cultivated in ancient Rome and were used as a medicinal herb in the 13th Century. They are a member of the Rose family. A museum dedicated to them in Belgium. During the 1700’s, a hybrid variety was developed in France by breeding wild strawberries brought from North America with others from Chile. The first important American variety, the Hovey, was grown in 1834 in Massachusetts.

Nutrition and Consumption:

One serving of strawberries contains 20% RDA of folic acid. That’s more per comparable serving than any other fruit. Folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin which has been proven to reduce birth defects involving brain and nerve disorders. Strawberries are one of the most delicious and nutritious fruits. According to FDA regulations, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free food. They are not only cholesterol free but low in calories as well. One serving of eight medium sized strawberries contains: · 140% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin C, which is more than one orange.

Nutritional Facts:

  • 20% of the daily value for folic acid
  • Only 50 calories
  • No fat grams
  • Recognized source of potassium, folacin and dietary fiber
  • Approximately 50% of this total dietary fiber is a water soluble pectin
  • Clinical studies that soluble fibers help reduce serum cholesterol levels

Scientific classification:

The strawberry belongs to the genus Fragaria in the rose family, Rosaceae. The scientific names for some common American species are F. chiloensis, F. vesca, and F. virginiana.

Pomegranates

Pomegranate fruit is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and was cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times. It is widely cultivated throughout India and the drier parts of southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies and tropical Africa. The tree was introduced into California by Spanish settlers in 1769. In this country it is grown for its fruits mainly in the drier parts of California and Arizona.

The Fruit, nearly round, 2-1/2 to 5 in. wide, is crowned at the base by the prominent calyx. The tough, leathery skin or rind is typically yellow overlaid with light or deep pink or rich red. The interior is separated by membranous walls and white, spongy, bitter tissue into compartments packed with sacs filled with sweetly acid, juicy, red, pink or whitish pulp or aril. In each sac there is one angular, soft or hard seed. High temperatures are essential during the fruiting period to get the best flavor. The pomegranate may begin to bear in 1 year after planting out, but 2-1/2 to 3 years is more common. Under suitable conditions the fruit should mature some 5 to 7 months after bloom.

The fruits are ripe when they have developed a distinctive color and make a metallic sound when tapped. The fruits must be picked before over maturity when they tend to crack open, particularly when rained on. The pomegranate is equal to the apple in having a long storage life. It is best maintained at a temperature of 32° to 41° F. and can be kept for a period of 7 months within this temperature range and at 80 to 85% relative humidity without shrinking or spoiling. The fruits improve in storage, becoming juicier and more flavorful.

Scientific classification:

Pomegranate belongs to the family Punicaceae. It is classified as Punica granatum.

Pluots

Pluots® and Apriums® are “interspecifics” – complex hybrids of plum and apricot. Pluots (sometimes called Dinosaur Eggs) have predominantly plum parentage and smooth skins like plums. With their scant fuzz, Apriums resemble apricots in the expression of their ‘cot parentage.

The complex, intense flavor of Pluots and Apriums is unique to interspecifics, much like a blend of fruit juices where the mixture is an improvement over any of the separate ingredients. Additionally, the sugar content of our interspecifics is much higher than in standard plums or apricots, yielding fruit of incomparable sweetness. (Pluot and Aprium are registered trademarks of Zaiger Genetics, Modesto, California.)

Quality:

Should be plump with consistent skin color and firm texture. Avoid soft spots or that are green in color.

How to Enjoy:

Wash fruit carefully in cool water before using. Use in sauces or as a sweetener. Bake them into breads or use them sliced in salads.

Special Tip:

Pluots and Apriums are one of the best natural sources of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin and mucous membranes.

How to Store:

To ripen, place them in a closed paper bag at room temperature. Store ripe fruit in the crisper bin of the refrigerator for one to two days.

Nutritional Facts:

  • Low fat
  • Saturated fat-free
  • Sodium-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • High in vitamin A
  • High in vitamin C
  • A good source of potassium

Plums

Plums are hard-pitted fruits like peaches, cherries, almonds, and apricots. About 12 plum species are cultivated throughout temperate regions for their fruit and as flowering ornamentals.

The common European plum, the most important species, has been cultivated since ancient times and probably originated near the Caspian Sea. It was introduced into North America, possibly by the Pilgrims, and is now mostly cultivated in the western United States, California in particular. Fruits of varieties of this species range in color from yellow or red to green, but purplish-blue is most common. Dried plums, or prunes, are made from the varieties that are richest in sugar and solids.

The Japanese plum, probably originating in China, was introduced into the United States in 1870. The fruit is more pointed at the apex than that of the common European plum, and its varieties are yellow or light red but never purplish-blue. The Damson plum-a small, oval, sweet fruit used mostly in jams-was first cultivated in ancient times in the region of Damascus.

How to Store:

Plums can be ripened by placing them in a paper bag, closing it loosely, and leaving it on the counter for a few days. Once the fruit is ripe, it should be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Nutritional Facts:

  • Low fat
  • Saturated fat-free
  • Sodium-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • High in vitamin C

Scientific classification:

Plums belong to the genus Prunus of the family Rosaceae. The common European plum is classified as Prunus domestica, the Japanese plum as Prunus salicina, and the Damson plum as Prunus insititia.

Pineapple

Pineapple, common name for a flowering plant family, characterized by unique water-absorbing leaf scales and regular three-parted flowers. The leaves are spirally arranged sheaths or blades, usually occurring in layers. The plant embryos have one seed leaf (see Monocots). The family, which contains more than 2000 species placed in 46 genera, is almost exclusively native to the tropics and subtropics of America, with one species occurring in western Africa. Many species are now cultivated around the globe, however. The most economically important species is the familiar pineapple. A few species are sources of fiber; others are cultivated for their showy flowers or foliage. The family constitutes an order, and the term bromeliad is used for its members.

The pineapple was probably first domesticated in the high plateaus of central South America; it was widely planted for its fiber before Europeans first saw it in the Caribbean. Thereafter, cultivation spread to warm regions around the globe. Hawaiian plantations produce almost a third of the world’s crop and supply 60 percent of canned pineapple products. Other leading producers are China, Brazil, and Mexico.

In California, Pineapples are available all year. A ripe Pineapple is fragrant, heavy and symmetrical in size. In the USA, pineapples are enjoyed as a dessert or snack, in salads, in drinks, in baking and in cooking. Once the fibrous core is removed and the fruit separated from the shell, delicious and juicy slices can be carved from the remaining flesh. Pineapples are picked ripe and ready to eat, so you can enjoy them immediately after purchase.

Basic Nutritional Facts:

  • Fat-free
  • Saturated fat-free
  • Very low sodium
  • Cholesterol-free
  • High in vitamin C

Scientific classification:

Pineapples make up the family Bromeliaceae and the order Bromeliales. The familiar pineapple is classified as Ananas comosus. The primitive pineapples that grow high in the Andes are classified in the genus Puya. Spanish moss is classified as Tillandsia usneoides.

Persimmons

Persommon, common name for trees of a genus of the ebony family. The common persimmon is native to the eastern United States, growing wild from Connecticut and Iowa south to Florida and Texas; it grows up to 15 m (up to 50 ft) and has oblong leaves and unisexual flowers. The edible fruit is a large berry about the size of an apricot, with a tomatolike skin.

The persimmon tree yields a heavy, hard, close-grained wood that is used for shuttles and bobbins in the textile industry and for golf-club heads and other sports equipment. The Japanese persimmon is cultivated in the warm sections of the United States, particularly in California, for its fruit.

Persimmons can be classified into two general categories: those that bear astringent fruit until they are soft ripe and those that bear nonastringent fruits. Within each of these categories, there are cultivars whose fruits are influenced by pollination (pollination variant) and cultivars whose fruits are unaffected by pollination (pollination constant). Actually, it is the seeds, not pollination per se, that influences the fruit. An astringent cultivar must be jelly soft before it is fit to eat, and such cultivars are best adapted to cooler regions where persimmons can be grown. The flesh color of pollination-constant astringent cultivars is not influenced by pollination. Pollination-variant astringent cultivars have dark flesh around the seeds when pollinated.

A nonastringent persimmon can be eaten when it is crisp as an apple. These cultivars need hot summers, and the fruit might retain some astringency when grown in cooler regions. Pollination-constant nonastringent (PCNA) persimmons are always edible when still firm; pollination-variant nonastringent (PVNA) fruit are edible when firm only if they have been pollinated.

The shape of the fruit varies by cultivar from spherical to acorn to flattened or squarish. The color of the fruit varies from light yellow-orange to dark orange-red. The size can be as little as a few ounces to more than a pound. The entire fruit is edible except for the seed and calyx. Alternate bearing s common. This can be partially overcome by thinning the fruit or moderately pruning after a light-crop year. Astringency can also be removed by treating with carbon dioxide or alcohol. Freezing the fruit overnight and then thawing softens the fruit and also removes the astringency. Unharvested fruit remaining on the tree after leaf fall creates a very decorative effect. It is common for many immature fruit to drop from May to September.

Scientific classification:

Persimmons make up the genus Diospyros, of the family Ebenaceae. The common persimmon is classified as Diospyros virginiana and the Japanese persimmon as Diospyros kaki.

Pears

Pear, common name for about 20 species of trees of a genus in the rose family, and for their fruit. The common pear is native to Europe; the Chinese sand pear is native to the Orient. Both species are extensively cultivated for their fruit in cool, humid, temperate regions throughout the world.

Under cultivation, standard pear trees attain heights of up to 9 m (30 ft), with trunks 30 cm (12 in) or more in diameter. The leaves are oval and simple and, unlike those of the apple, smooth and glossy. The white flowers, which are borne in umbels, have five sepals, five petals, many stamens, and a single pistil.

The fruit is a pome, juicier than the apple, and varying from apple-shaped to teardrop-shaped. Among different varieties, the thin skin varies in color from light yellow and green through red and brown. The thick flesh varies in flavor among different varieties. In young, unripe common pears, and in young and mature Chinese sand pears, the flesh contains numerous gritty cells called stone cells.

Pears are gathered from the trees before they are completely ripe and are allowed to ripen in storage. Cold retards ripening, and heat speeds it. Pears are eaten fresh and canned.

Commercial pear production in the United States averages about 700,000 metric tons annually. The best North American pear-growing districts are in California, Washington, and Oregon and, to a lesser degree, in the northern United States from New England to the Great Lakes and in lower Canada. Pears are grown extensively in home orchards in the United States.

Most pear varieties may be grown in either standard or dwarf sizes. Dwarf pears are propagated by grafting a pear scion on a quince stock. Angoule, Elizabeth, Louis Bonne, and Deal pears are desirable dessert varieties usually cultivated as dwarfs. Anjou, Boussoc, and Tyson pears are about equally good in either standard or dwarf sizes. Bosc, Washington, and Dix pears are usually grown as dwarfs by a type of grafting called double working, in which stocks are grafted onto stocks that have previously been dwarfed by grafting on quince. Bartlett, Seckel, and Doyenn pears are usually grown in standard sizes.

Basic Nutritional Facts:

Pears contain about 16 percent carbohydrate and negligible amounts of fat and protein. They are good sources of the B-complex vitamins and also contain vitamin C; in addition, they contain small amounts of phosphorus and iodine.

Scientific classification:

Pears belong to the family Rosaceae. The common pear is classified as Pyrus communis and the Chinese sand pear as Pyrus pyrifolia.

Peaches

Peaches are believed to be native to China. They are cultivated throughout warm temperate and subtropical regions of the world. In the peach fruit, the stone is covered with a fleshy substance that is juicy, melting, and of fine flavor when matured and mellowed.

The popular division of fruit varieties into clingstones and freestones-referring to the relative tendency of the flesh to cling to the stone-is by no means accurate. These two classes merge in different varieties, and even the same variety may be freestone and clingstone in different seasons. The nearly 300 varieties of peaches grown in America have been classified into five races, each with outstanding characteristics, ripening season, and uses.The nectarine is a variety of peach.

The principal peach-growing state is California. World production totaled about 5.5 million metric tons annually; the United States and Italy were the leading producers.

How to Store:

To ripen peaches, store in a brown bag at room temperature. Ripe peaches can be stored in the crisper bin of your refrigerator for up to five or six days.

Nutritional Facts:

  • Fat-free
  • Saturated fat-free
  • Sodium-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • High in vitamin A
  • A good source of vitamin C

Scientific classification:

The peach belongs to the family Rosaceae. It is classified as Prunus persica.

Oranges

Orange,Tangerine and Mandarin, common name for citrus fruit of several trees. Different varieties include the sweet orange, the sour orange, and the mandarin orange, or tangerine.

The Navel Orange, so named for their “belly button” at the blossom end, were discovered in the 1820’s as an unusual growth on a Salata tree in Salvador, Brazil, but are believed to have originated in China. It’s a large seedless fruit, that’s juicy and sweet with thick skins that make it easy to peel and section for eating. The Cara Cara resembles a regular Navel, but the inside is a gorgeous deep salmon color. The taste is sweet and juicy. This unique variety originated at the Hacienda Cara Cara in Venezuela in the early 1970s, and are a new addition to the California, San Joaquin Valley.

Valencia, first named Excelsior, is considered the worlds most important orange. Believed to be of Spanish origin, the variety actually became of interest in the Azores and is almost certainly of old Portuguese origin. The rind is thin and leathery, the interior bright orange, with a high juice content and sweet flavor. Valencias typically have 2-4 seeds per fruit.

Tangerine Tangerine is the common name for a variety of Mandarin orange. The mandarin orange is native to southeastern Asia and has been widely cultivated in orange-growing regions of the world. The tangerine resembles the orange but is smaller and oblate in shape and has a more pungent odor, a thinner rind, and sections that may be readily separated. It has a food value comparable to that of the orange, but the fruit is more delicate and subject to damage in handling.

Satsuma Mandarin The Satsuma Mandarin is believed to have originated in Japan probably in the mid-sixth century A.D. It acquired its name in 1878 by the wife of Gen. Van Valkenberg, the U.S. Minister to Japan. Satsuma’s have a mild sweet flavor, full of juice, virtually no seeds, pebbly in texture and the interior is a bright orange. This fruit peels and segments easily.

The fruit of all these varieties is technically a hesperidium, a kind of berry. It consists of several easily separated carpels, or sections, each containing several seeds and many juice cells, covered by a leathery exocarp, or skin, containing numerous oil glands. Orange trees are evergreens, seldom exceeding 9 m (30 ft) in height. The leaves are oval and glossy and the flowers are white and fragrant. Three essential oils are obtained from oranges: oil of orange, obtained from the rind of the fruit and used principally as a flavoring agent; oil of petigrain, obtained from the leaves and twigs and used in perfumery; and oil of neroli, obtained from the blossoms and used in flavorings and perfumes.

In the United States the principal orange-producing states are Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona. From 1991 to 1992 the yield of oranges in the United States was about 10 million metric tons. The principal crops of the western growers consist of the Valencia and the Bahia, or Washington navel orange, imported from Bahia, Brazil, in 1870, and developed in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The navel orange is a seedless orange, with medium-thick rind, in which a second small, or abortive, orange grows. A variety of the Washington navel orange is the principal orange product of Texas.

The sour orange is cultivated to a limited extent for marmalade and to provide rootstock for less vigorous strains. About 20 percent of the total crop of oranges is sold as whole fruit; the remainder is used in preparing frozen and canned orange juice, extracts, and preserves.

Basic Nutritional Facts:

  • Low fat
  • Saturated fat-free
  • Sodium-free
  • Cholesterol-free
  • A good source of vitamin C

Scientific classification:

Oranges belong to the genus Citrus, of the family Rutaceae. The sweet orange is classified as Citrus sinensis; the sour, or Seville, orange as Citrus aurantium; and the mandarin orange, or tangerine, as Citrus reticulata.