Florida Tangelos Are Flavorful Result of Ancient Pollination Accident

manderin oranges

Somewhere in Southeast Asia more than 3,500 years ago, a bee’s erratic flight led to the accidental pollination between a mandarin orange and a grapefruit. The result was a fruit that shared characteristics with of many of its citrus cousins but had a flavor uniquely its own. Nearly 34 centuries later, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cultivated a new tangelo hybrid in Florida in the 1930s. The Florida Tangelo is the luscious modern incarnation of that ancient Asian ancestor.

Unique citrus hybrids, Florida Tangelos have the easy-to-peel skins and well-developed sections of Florida Tangerines, the sweet juiciness of Florida Navel Oranges and the delicious tanginess of Florida grapefruit. It’s as if Mother Nature tossed the citrus gene pool in a blender and pushed pulse. The flavorful result makes Florida Tangelos a delicious choice for fall snacking. Easy sectioning and few seeds also make Florida Tangelos a favorite addition to fruit and lettuce salads.

Only available from mid-November to December, Florida Tangelos are superior to those grown in other parts of the country. The limestone bedrock that underlies Florida’s citrus orchards produces particularly flavorful, high quality Tangelos that are prized for their bright orange color, large size, appealing sweetness and distinctive taste.

At about 60 calories, a medium-size Florida Tangelo provides 45% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C which may help prevent heart disease, hypertension, osteoarthritis and age-related macular degeneration. Packed with many other essential vitamins and minerals, fresh, ripe Florida Tangelos are also an excellent source of powerful disease-fighting antioxidants and flavonoids, making them a super health food that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Florida Tangelos may be one of the lesser know members of the Florida citrus family, but they pack a healthy wallop!

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