May means mandarins in Australia. The first mandarins of the year are the Imperial variety from Central Queensland around the Gayndah district. There is fruit in April, but the best fruit is early to mid May. Imperials are a medium sized mandarin, easy to peel, and don’t have a lot of seeds. Hence they are extremely popular in the school lunch box. One mandarin contains nearly double your daily requirement of vitamin C. To me none of the many other varieties of mandarins eat like an imperial, they are stand alone the best. After May, we move south for these beauties and the season extends to about the middle of August in some years but not always. I am convinced the best fruit most years is the Queensland fruit. I prefer to buy the medium size fruit as it is less likely to be dry as the season progresses, that’s not really a risk in this early part of the season.
HOW TO PICK
For a juicier imperial mandarin, pick fruit which feels heavy for its size, has glossy skin and is softer to touch. Avoid fruit that is rock hard and does not yield a little to pressure.
HOW TO STORE
Store in a cool place for up to a week. If you would like to keep them longer, store in the fridge.