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The Clementine

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The ClementineSince Christmas is around the corner, it is probably appropriate to mention the clementine.  In the United States, clementines are usually available from mid-November through January.  Because of the months that they are available, they are usually known as Christmas oranges.

The clementine got it’s name in 1902 and are a variety of a mandarin orange, a small citrus fruit.  Where the clementine got it’s name is up for grabs.  Some say that Father Clément Rodier in the garden of his orphanage in Misserghin, Algeria found a accidental hybrid.  Whereas others say that the clementine originated much earlier in China.

Clementines have a lovely color and shape.  They are deep orange in color and have a glossy-like smooth appearance.  Like most oranges, clementines separate nicely into separate pieces.  They separate into seven to fourteen juicy segments.  They’re easy to peel with your fingers and are usually seedless.

The antioxidants in clementines are limoneneLinalool, α-terpineol, α-pinene, β-pinene and myrcene are other constituents.

The clementine is sometimes referred to Algerian tangerine.  It wasn’t until 1914 that the clementine was introduced to California agriculture.  However, research was done on the fruit in 1909 at the University of California at Riverside.

Clementines are usually found at your local grocery store in a net bag.  They are an excellent addition to any recipe, especially in salads and cakes.  They are also a great cleaning agent for marble counter tops.  To use them for cleaning a marble counter top, simply cut the orange in half, dip it in salt and then gently rub in circular patterns on the marble surface to remove grime from the marble.

As with most citrus fruits, the clementine is also a great thing to use to get your garbage disposal to smell wonderful.  Either use the reminents left over after eating the clementine or use a whole one, cut into large chunks and grind it up in the garbage disposal to have your sink smell fresh and clean.

Clementines rubbed on a house plant can help you keep your cats off your plants!  Learn more about clementines.

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