Just last week I said May is when the best mandarins start, but I am retracting that. The difference between last week and this week’s mandarins is like chalk and cheese. This week they are fantastic, it would appear the season is running about 10 days early. A word of caution though, there is a new variety of mandarin called a Gold Up that looks exactly like an Imperial but is terrible to eat. My guys won’t buy them, but others do. They are cheap to buy of course but not a good idea at all. Beware of very cheap mandarins!
True Imperials are a fantastic piece of fruit now in full swing, these first ones are from Gayndah in Central Queensland. Kids love them as they are so easy to peel, are very sweet and don’t have many seeds. At the moment they’re very inexpensive for this early in the season. The best ones are medium size fruit, big fruit is fine now but later in the season, it can be dry. Imperials are still the most popular of all the mandarins, the next month they will, weather permitting, be the most popular fruit we sell.
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's 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.