Kishu Mandarin

As punishment for my tormenting Midwesterners with our 90 degree weather last weekend, we are in our second day of getting absolutely hosed with the most torrential downpour Southern California has seen in years.  It is a warm rain with high snow levels, and so our mountains are getting particularly hammered, and all highways are expected to receive heavy damage.  We don’t “do” rain well here in the arid desert, and it really makes a mess.

So to distract from this misery, I present these little orbs of sunshine called Kishu Mandarin.  It was introduced from Japan around 1983, but hasn’t really done much commercially.  The peel practically leaps off, and it is seedless, two very important qualities.  But its small size and unremarkably sweet flavor are enough to drag it down; indeed, the only other attribute is it’s “cute”.   They ripen in December through January, but are sweet enough to eat in November.  I grafted this branch onto our Navel Orange tree two years ago, and it is certainly productive.  They will make stocking stuffers this year.

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