Mandarinquats are back at the Certified Farmers’ Markets! Each year, Mandarinquats, a hybrid between the Mandarin Orange and the Kumquat, make a brief appearance at the markets, much to the delight of citrus aficionados. Why? Because there strangely named little citrus fruits inherited the best of both their progenitors. Larger, plumper and juicier than Kumquats, they are still small enough to eat in a couple of bites. They are also a bit sweeter than Kumquats, yet still maintain that distinctive tart/sweet Kumquat flavor, albeit enhanced by the addition of the Mandarin.
Like Kumquats, Mandarinquats are generally eaten whole. The fruit itself is tear-shaped (much like a Kumquat), but bright orange in color, like a Mandarin. The Mandarinquat’s skin is sweet and fragrant; a perfect contrast to the delicious flesh, which is slightly tart and acidic. Be ready for seeds, though, as Mandarinquats have them aplenty.
The Mandarinquats at the Coachella Valley Certified Farmers’ Markets are grown locally by Susan Kelley, who, with her family, owns Bautista Creek Local Produce up in Hemet. They have been growing citrus there for twenty five years, and specialize in rare or unusual citrus varieties, including this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week, Mandarinquats. (They also grow Pink lemons, Meyer lemons, finger limes, Kaffir limes and leaves, blood oranges, Cara Cara navel oranges, mandarin oranges, and citrons (to name a few).) A word to the wise, though - if you’re inclined to sample these delicious beauties, don’t delay. Mandarinquats are only available for a few months each year – and you won’t find them at your local grocer.
Did You Know: Mandarinquats are true Southern California natives, having all descended from an open pollinated seedling that came up as a volunteer near UCLA. They are also more than likely Coachella Valley natives, as most of the Mandarinquats available today can trace their origins to Indio, CA, which is home to one of the original planting groves of the Mandarinquat tree. For this reason, Mandarinquats were often referred to as Indio Mandarinquats when they first appeared on the commercial market.
Also in Season, and available now at all locations: Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers.
The Certified Farmers Market is sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center. It operates in four locations, and on three different days of the week, as follows:
- On Saturdays in Palm Springs, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, adjacent to the Camelot Theatres in the Palm Springs Mall parking lot at 2300 E. Baristo Road at Farrell.
- On Sundays in Old Town La Quinta, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at 78100 Main Street, just a few blocks west of La Quinta City Hall off Calle Tampico.
- On Wednesdays in Palm Desert, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce, 72-567 Highway 111.
Contact the Certified Farmers Market at 760.898.5250, 760-285-2630 (se habla Espanol), or visit us online at www.certifiedfarmersmarket.org font color="#0000FF">http://www.certifiedfarmersmarket.org> .
The Palm Springs Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts, and to sponsoring scholarship awards for deserving individuals.