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Daisy tangerines are medium sized fruits that grow together in large clusters. They are wider than they are tall, measuring between 4 and 7 centimeters in diameter. Their shiny, smooth to slightly textured, dark orange rinds fit loosely around the flesh, making them easy to peel. The dark orange, delicately textured flesh is juicy and contains an average of 2 seeds per section. Daisy tangerines are very flavorful and rich with a balanced sweet-tart taste.
Daisy tangerines are available in the winter months.
Daisy tangerines, also called Daisy mandarins, are a hybrid variety of Citrus reticulata. They are a cross between fortune and fremont mandarin varieties made in California during the 1970s. Daisy tangerines are not sold commercially and are not generally found outside of Southern California. An improved, seedless variety, known as Daisy SL mandarin is more common than its parent variety.
Daisy tangerines are high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. They also contain potassium, folic acid, and thiamine. All tangerines contain beneficial beta carotene and antioxidants.
Daisy tangerines are excellent for eating fresh, since their skins peel off easily and they divide into sections well. Use the juice on its own, mixed with other fruit juice, or in sauces or desserts. The zest can be used for garnishes, baked goods, and sauces as well. As with other citrus, choose Daisy tangerines that are heavy for their size. Daisy tangerines can be kept at room temperature for a day or two and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Daisy tangerines are named for the wife and business partner of their developer, Dowlin Young. The two opened Young’s Nursery in California’s Coachella Valley, a quarantine-free area with a good climate for citrus. They supported the nearby Coachella Valley Agricultural Research Station, where according to the story, Mrs. Young first tried an unnamed variety that until then hadn’t received much attention. Her fondness for the taste of the fruit inspired her husband to name it after her.
Daisy tangerines are native to the Palm Desert in Southern California. They were developed in 1972 by citrus breeder Dowlin Young, who worked in cooperation with the United States Date & Citrus Station. Budwood for the Daisy tangerine was given to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Citrus Clonal Protection Program at Riverside in 1980. All new varieties are subjected to quarantine to ensure viability, commercial appeal and disease-resistance. Daisy tangerines were released to the public in 1988. They are available to growers in both California and Florida and may be spotted at farmer’s markets in those areas.