The main varieties here are: Ellendale, a larger mandarin with easy-to-peel dark orange skin; Imperial, a smaller mandarin with bright glossy skin; and Murcott/Honey Tangerine, an especially sweet variety with tight yellow-orange skin. Most varieties contain seeds.
Avoid bruises, cuts or soft spots. Choose brighter, glossy mandarins that feel heavy, which means lots of juice. Note that some varieties have looser skin than others. Choose mandarins that are firm.
Mandarins can be stored in or out of the fridge. Keep in a cool, dark place for up to five days or refrigerate in the crisper section for up to two weeks.
Mandarins are easy to peel and break into segments. They are usually eaten raw but also taste great cooked. Remove seeds before cooking.
4 quick ways with mandarins
Add some zest to your meal. Stir-fry some chopped mandarin, lemon, honey, onion, bok choy, ginger and light soy sauce along with your favourite meat, noodles and fresh, sliced vegetables.
Make a roast dinner with a difference: mash some mandarins into a paste with garlic, seeded mustard and honey. Brush the mixture over chicken, duck or leg of ham. Bake until cooked; basting repeatedly. The roast goes well with mashed potato and green beans or Brussels sprouts.
Make your own healthy mandarin marmalade. Lightly boil 1 cup apple juice or water with 1kg mandarins (peeled, seeded and separated into segments). Add sugar and lemon zest and simmer, stirring, until you reach a desired consistency. Serve with wholegrain toast, crêpes or poached fruit.
Why not sweeten up a salad! Toss together mandarin segments, mixed salad, onion, avocado, snow pea sprouts, black olives, coriander, parsley and chopped celery. Dress with olive oil and vinegar.
The perfect snack: Mandarins are high in fibre, vitamin C and A, and low in kilojoules (100g has about 165kJ). They contain carotenoids (an antioxidant), which may help reduce your risk of developing heart disease.