Explore the world of Pixie Tangerines and learn everything there is to know about this delicious and nutritious citrus fruit.
Pixie Tangerines, scientifically known as Citrus reticulata, is a petite, late-harvest variety that belongs to the Rutaceae or citrus family.
This comprehensive guide will delve into the history, seasonality, nutritional value, and culinary uses of Ojai pixie tangerines.
⬇️ Table of Contents
- What are Pixie Tangerines?
- Taste and Texture
- How Do I Know When a Pixie Tangerine Is Ripe?
- 🍊 Ojai Pixie Tangerine - A California Treasure
- Nutritional Value and Culinary Uses
- Where to Buy and How to Store/Freeze Pixie Tangerines
- Pixie Tangerine Facts and Extended Info
- 🍊 Ojai Pixies Growers Association
- Pixie Tangerine-Themed Dishes and Beverages
- Posts To Visit
What are Pixie Tangerines?
Pixie Tangerines, also known as Pixie Mandarins or Ojai pixie tangerines, are a type of seedless, easy-to-peel citrus fruit. They're a hybrid variety, combining the best qualities of King and Dancy Mandarins.
The pixie mandarin, with a sweet, tangy flavor and a vibrant orange color, makes for a perfect snack or a great addition to various dishes.
Taste and Texture
Pixie Tangerines are often praised for their sweet, sugary taste balanced, and mild tang flavor nature. They are juicy, low in acid, and have a fragrant, thin rind that is easy to peel. Their flesh is tender, making them perfect for eating out of hand or incorporating into recipes.
How Do I Know When a Pixie Tangerine Is Ripe?
Ripe ones will have a bright orange color and a slightly soft feel when gently squeezed. It's essential to taste test the fruit before harvesting or purchasing, as tangerines can look ripe before they reach their peak flavor.
🍊 Ojai Pixie Tangerine - A California Treasure
The Ojai Pixie Tangerine was first cultivated in the early 1960s in Ojai, California, by Howard B. Frost, a horticulturist at the University of California, Riverside.
The goal was to create a seedless variety, late-season mandarin with an exceptional taste.
Today, they are mainly grown in the Ojai Valley by farmers and have become popular among citrus enthusiasts.
The Ojai pixie tangerines typically run from late March to May, with the organic harvest taking place during this time.
The exact timing may vary depending on factors such as location and weather conditions. During Pixie season, you can find the freshest Ojai Pixie Tangerines at local markets and grocery stores.
Nutritional Value and Culinary Uses
Pixie Tangerines are not only delicious but also packed with vitamins and nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which supports immune system health and aids in iron absorption.
Additionally, they contain fiber, which aids in digestion, and potassium, which supports heart health.
Pixie Tangerines can be enjoyed on their own or incorporated into various dishes. Here are some delicious recipe ideas:
- Pixie Tangerine Salad: Toss together mixed greens, Tangerine segments, avocado, and red onion. Drizzle with a mandarin vinaigrette made from the juice, olive oil, and honey.
- Pixie Tangerine Salsa: Combine diced mandarin with red bell pepper, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips or over grilled fish or chicken.
- Pixie Tangerine Smoothie: Blend Tangerine segments, banana, yogurt, ice, and a drizzle of honey for a refreshing and nutritious drink.
Where to Buy and How to Store/Freeze Pixie Tangerines
You can find these fruits at local farmers' markets, specialty grocers, and some supermarkets.
You may also order them online from Ojai pixies growers or specialty fruit retailers. Many customers enjoy the convenience of having 4lbs of Pixie Tangerines shipped to their door.
To keep Pixie Tangerines fresh, store them at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for up to a week. If you need to store them for a longer period, place them in the refrigerator crisper drawer, where they can last up to three weeks.
Remember to bring them back to room temperature before eating to enjoy their full flavor.
To freeze Pixie Tangerines, follow these steps:
- Peel the Pixie Tangerines and separate them into segments.
- Place the segment pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer until the segments are completely frozen.
- Transfer the frozen segments to an airtight container or a freezer bag for storage.
Frozen Pixie Tangerines can be used for the best quality within 6-12 months. They are excellent for smoothies, desserts, or other recipes that call for citrus fruit.
Pixie Tangerine Facts and Extended Info
The Pixie Tangerine is a product of open pollination between the King and Dancy Mandarins. The pixie tangerine growers was first introduced to the United States in 1882 and is a large, fragrant fruit with a thick rind.
The Dancy Mandarin, also known as the "Christmas Tangerine" due to its winter harvest season, is a smaller, thin-skinned fruit with a bright, tart flavor.
Citrus Research Center - University of California, Riverside
The origin of the Pixie Tangerine can be traced back to the early 1960s in Ojai, California. Howard B. Frost, a horticulturist at the University of California, Riverside, aimed to create a seedless, late-season mandarin with an exceptional taste.
🍊 Ojai Pixies Growers Association
The Ojai Pixie Growers Association (OPGA) is a collective of passionate Ojai pixie growers who have come together to produce and promote the highest quality Pixie Tangerines in the Ojai Valley region of California.
Established to maintain the reputation and consistency of this unique citrus tree fruit, the association plays a crucial role in supporting local agriculture and preserving the rich heritage of Pixie Tangerines.
Pixie Tangerine-Themed Dishes and Beverages
Indulge in the refreshing taste of Pixie Tangerine Gelato, a delightful frozen treat that captures the essence of this delicious fruit. With its smooth, creamy texture and the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess, this gelato is a must-try for Pixie Tangerine fans.
Bake a batch of Pixie Tangerine Cookies to enjoy a unique twist on a classic dessert. Infused with the zest and juice of Pixie Tangerines, these cookies burst with citrus flavor and pair perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.
Craft a delicious Pixie Tangerine cocktail by combining the fruit juice with your favorite spirits and mixers. Experiment with flavors like gin, vodka, or rum, and add a splash of sparkling water or tonic for a refreshing, citrus-infused beverage.
What is the difference between Pixie Tangerines and regular tangerines?
Pixie Tangerines are a specific hybrid variety of mandarins, combining the best qualities of King and Dancy Mandarins.
They are seedless, easy to peel, and have a unique sweet, tangy flavor compared to other tangerines.
How many calories are in a Pixie Tangerine?
A medium-sized one contains approximately 40-50 calories. They are a low-calorie and nutritious snack, making them a great choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet.
Are Pixie Tangerines safe for pets to eat?
In small amounts, they are generally safe for dogs to eat. However, it's best to avoid giving them to cats, as citrus fruits can cause digestive upset in felines.
Always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your pets' diet.
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Is it possible to freeze Pixie Tangerines?
Hello, I added a section explaining how to freeze them. Thank you for the question/suggestion! You can find the information under "Where to Buy and How to Store/Freeze Pixie Tangerines."