Triple Cross Tangerines
Inventory, 25 lbs : 0
Triple Cross tangerines are a medium to large varietal, averaging 7 to 9 centimeters in diameter, and have a squat, round, to oblate shape. The fruits are flattened at both ends and have vibrant orange skin, covered in visible oil glands giving the surface and lightly pocked appearance. The skin is also taut, thin, smooth, and easy to peel. Underneath the surface, the dark orange flesh is seedless, aqueous, and firm with a tender nature, divided into 10 to 12 segments by thin membranes. Triple Cross tangerines release a fruity, refreshing aroma when peeled and have a bright and rich, mildly acidic flavor with sweet, tart, and tangy nuances.
Triple Cross tangerines are available in the late winter through early spring.
Triple Cross tangerines, botanically classified as Citrus reticulata, are a specialty cultivar belonging to the Rutaceae or citrus family. The late-season variety is a relatively unknown mandarin developed in California and was released as a boutique citrus grown through select farms. Triple Cross tangerines are named after their parentage, crosses between three citruses: Temple tangors, Dancy mandarins, and Encore mandarins. The variety is also known as Triple Cross mandarins and TDE, a combination of the first letter of each of the fruit’s parent cultivars. Triple Cross tangerines are favored for their bright, sweet, and tangy flavor and juicy nature. The fruits are typically consumed fresh and are sold seasonally as a rare cultivar.
Triple Cross tangerines are a source of vitamin C to strengthen the immune system, vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, and fiber to regulate the digestive tract. The tangerines also provide calcium to build strong bones and teeth, iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream, potassium to balance fluid levels within the body, and contain other nutrients such as folate, magnesium, and antioxidants.
Triple Cross tangerines have a bright, refreshing flavor suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The tangerines can be consumed straight, out-of-hand, and the skin is easily peeled, making them a popular snack or on-the-go fruit. Triple Cross tangerines can also be segmented into fruit mixtures, dipped in chocolate as a bite-sized dessert, tossed into salads, or topped over grain bowls. In addition to eating the fruits in segments, Triple Cross tangerines can be blended into smoothies, pressed into juice, or used to flavor carbonated beverages and cocktails. The tangerines can also be cooked into jams, marmalades, and syrups. These marmalades can be used as filling for macaroons, tarts, or other baked goods, and the juice can flavor desserts, including cakes, muffins, and puddings. Beyond traditional uses, Triple Cross tangerines are sometimes used for glazing hams, flavoring seafood, or infusing into sauces for roasted meats. Triple Cross tangerines pair well with herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, and mint, meats such as beef, poultry, and pork, fruits including blackberries, strawberries, bananas, and mangoes, and nuts such as hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds. Whole, unpeeled Triple Cross tangerines will keep for a few days at room temperature and 1 to 2 weeks when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Triple Cross tangerines are one of four sibling varieties developed from the same parentage at the University of California Riverside’s Citrus Breeding Program. Each variety was initially labeled as TDE, a descriptor of the fruit’s parentage: Temple, Dancy, and Encore, and was given a number from 1 to 4 to distinguish between the cultivars. Triple Cross tangerines were known as TDE #1, Shasta Gold as TDE #2, Tahoe Gold as TDE #3, and Yosemite Gold as TDE #4. While Triple Cross tangerines are not as widely grown as the other sibling varieties, the cultivar is developing a strong following among citrus enthusiasts in California and the Pacific Northwest as a late-season, fresh eating variety.
Triple Cross tangerines are a cross between a Temple tangor, Dancy mandarin, and an Encore mandarin. The history of the variety is mostly unknown, but it is believed to be one of four cultivars created from the same parentage at the University of California Riverside’s Citrus Breeding Program in the 20th century. Triple Cross tangerines are one of the lesser-known TDE varieties as it was initially not considered for commercial release. Breeders felt that TDE #1, or Triple Cross tangerines, were too similar to TDE #2, also known as Shasta Gold. Over time, breeders began to reevaluate TDE #1, and it was released on a small scale to specialty growers in California. Today Triple Cross tangerines are grown by Rancho Del Sol Organic Farm in Jamul, California, and Buck Brand Citrus in Porterville, California. Through Buck Brand Citrus, in partnership with OGC, the Organically Grown Company, the variety is also distributed to stores and retailers in the Pacific Northwest.