Anthony Wallis, our orange grower, is supplying us with organic mandarins for the first time. We haven’t had a source for mandarins for months now, and what with it being citrus season I’ve been anxious to find a grower. Anthony came to the rescue. It turns out that he’s had trees for years but for the past two years (Food Connect’s lifetime) he’s been unable to supply us due to all the fruit getting eaten by cockatoos.
Anthony’s mandarins are an old variety called Emperor, which his family planted decades ago. They’ve gone out of fashion these days, and all the mandarins that you see in the shops will be either Imperial or Honey Mercot. Anthony says that pretty much all the Australian Emperor trees have been pulled out by now. The Emperors have a wonderful and distinct taste that sets them apart from the common varieties. The reason that they became less popular is that they do have a few seeds. However, we think that negotiating the seeds is a small price to pay for the flavoursome reward of eating these great mandarins. They’re certainly the most local source of organic or chemical free mandarins around, and its also great to have the opportunity to try a rare variety of fruit. We hope that you enjoy them!