Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ugly Duckling?

I thought I'd spend a minute today on something relatively new, at least new to me.  Sometime this summer the boys and I were shopping at Sprouts, I don't recall why, but in the process happened across a huge display of "Ugly Tangerines."   They really were some ugly little spuds, er, citrus products.  They looked like some sort of bizarre cross between a tangelo and a toad.  They were also huge, by tangerine standards, big as my fist.  We bought a few on a whim, figuring no matter how bad they were they'd make for a good story.

We sampled them at home and they were FANTASTIC!  And I don't usually get all that excited about fruit.

Some time later, Nick and I were back in Sprouts on an Ugly Tangerine run.  Checking out with a half dozen or so, the guy behind us in line said, "What are THOSE?"  "Ugly Tangerines," Nick, I and the woman at the register replied in unison.  "They'll change your life," added the cashier.  Nick and I thought about that for a millisecond or so and decided she was absolutely correct.

They remind me a little of those segmented chocolate oranges that seem to show up around Christmas.  You know, the ones wrapped in foil, you whack the thing on the counter, unwrap and all the little segments fall out by themselves.   Ugly Tangerine skins pull away so easily and the segments fall apart; you'd assume they were some cunning GMO, combining the DNA of a tangerine for taste, chocolate orange for packaging and a little bit of hacky sack for appearance (the leather kind, not the knitted ones.)

You can see an Ugly Tangerine in action in the following video.

These are actually pretty attractive ones.  Some of them are really homely.  A very little research suggests that these are actually Shasta Gold Mandarins, developed at UCR.   I don't know, the photos I've seen of the Shasta Golds seem distinctly more swan-like than the ugly duckings flocking to the stores in Temecula.  Whatever, ugly in this case is only skin deep.


Anonymous DaWife DeNiece said...

Love your video and sorry I ate the last one necessitating a run to the store before you could make your stop action video. Think you need to do some more research. These look way different than that picture of Shasta Golds and their season is earlier and they say thin skinned and these are thick skinned. Whatever the case, glad you guys discovered them.

October 3, 2010 at 2:23 PM  
Blogger Garage Sailing said... I have to go out and fine some of these ugly little critters. Love the video.

October 3, 2010 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger BJackie said...

Ooo - that is ugly. I never heard of that before. I'll have to keep an eye out for those. Excellent video.

October 4, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

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