Difference Between Clementine and Tangerine

Clementine vs Tangerine

We all know about orange, the ubiquitous citrus fruit that brings images of its juice and many cold drinks based upon its flavor. However, orange, as it is called and known in the western world is not monolithic in all parts of the world, and has many different varieties and species that are called differently in different countries. One such variety of this citrus fruit found mostly in Southern China is Mandarin. Mandarin has many varieties that are found in China and are known as Satsuma, Owari, Clementine, Tangerine, Tangore, and so on. Not many outside China are aware of the differences between tangerine and clementine. Though belonging to the same genus citrus reticulate of mandarin, there are many differences between clementine and tangerine that will be discussed in this article.

Now that we know that both clementines and tangerines are both citrus fruits like orange coming under the umbrella of mandarin, a big confusion goes away from our minds. Thus, all tangerines and clementines are mandarins, but not all mandarins are tangerines or clementines as there are many more varieties of mandarins. While clementine is a seedless mandarin, tangerine is a typical orange under mandarin family and is full of seeds. Being without seeds, people love clementine as they can eat the fruit after peeing without the fear of eating its seeds, and also make its juice much more easily. What is interesting is that clementines are seasonal, whereas tangerines are found more often in the market than clementines. Tangerines with tight skin are hard to peel easily and even the flesh is not so tasty, which is why it is better to buy tangerines with soft skin.

Since clementine has no seeds, the only way to grow its tree is by grafting a shoot onto rootstock. Clementines are smallest in mandarin family, and are also sweeter than tangerines. Unlike clementines, tangerines are flatter in shape and have a loose skin that makes them easier to peel them off.

Coming to nomenclature, it is said that a hybrid citrus fruit variety was discovered by Father Clement Rodier in his orphanage in Algeria, and so it is called as clementine, though there are claims that the fruit originated in China. Tangerines are so called as they were brought to Tangiers port from China and exported to western world.

What is the difference between Clementine and Tangerine?

• Both tangerines and clementines belong to the variety of oranges called mandarins that are grown primarily in south China.

• Tangerines are larger than clementines, also contain a few seeds, whereas clementines are seedless and really sweet.

• Being seedless, clementine is grown through grafting.

• Clementine is more reddish orange than tangerine, which is pale orange in color.

• Clementines are also called seedless tangerines.

• Clementine, after peeling can be easily separated into 7-14 segments.

• Tangerines are more sour than clementines.