Shasta Gold Tangerine
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Shasta Gold tangerines are large in size, measuring up to 8 centimeters wide and 6 centimeters tall with a flattened spherical shape. They have thin, glossy, dark orange rinds that are smooth to somewhat pebbled in texture. The skins sit loosely around the deep orange, finely-textured pulp. Shasta Gold tangerines are seedless and extremely juicy, making them a heavy variety at an average of 6.5 ounces each. They offer a rich, very sweet flavor which increases as the season progresses.
Shasta Gold tangerines are available in the mid-winter and through the spring months.
Shasta Gold tangerines are a hybrid variety of Citrus reticulata, or mandarin. They are one of three varieties developed from a cross between a Temple tangor x Dancy mandarin hybrid and an Encore mandarin and were originally designated as “TDE2”. Shasta Gold tangerines are a late season variety and hold well on the trees, allowing for an extended harvest.
Shasta Gold tangerines are rich in vitamins A and C and are a good source of calcium and dietary fiber. They contain the minerals calcium and iron, and are rich in antioxidants, like beta-carotene and the phytonutrient flavonoids hesperetin and naringenin.
Shasta Gold tangerines can be used fresh or in cooked applications. They are peeled and separated into segments, which are eaten as is or added to fruit or green salads. Use the zest and juice in marinades, beverages, vinaigrettes or sauces. The juice can be used in glazes and curds and can be used to flavor frozen or baked desserts. Store Shasta Gold tangerines in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Shasta Gold tangerines were included in a study conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture from 2002 to 2007. The study focused on the yield and fruit quality, as well potential cross-pollination between varieties. Findings from the study concluded that planting low-seeded and seedless mandarin varieties will give consumers more choices and will help to increase the competitiveness of the United States citrus industry.
Shasta Gold tangerines were first developed in 1973, though they didn’t make their commercial debut until much later. During the late 1980s, two now-retired professors at the University of California Riverside’s Citrus Breeding Program realized the potential commercial value of TDE2, along with its two sibling varieties. Testing and trials began in 1996 and budwood for the Shasta Gold tangerine was finally released to commercial growers in 2002. Shasta Gold tangerines are grown in Southern California as well as in the San Joaquin Valley, otherwise known as “the nation’s salad bowl”. They can be spotted at grocers across California and throughout the United States and are one of the last varieties available leading up to the summer months.
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