Mandarin taste test

We did an unofficial taste test on mandarins with my kids a week ago. Here are the results:

Algerian Clementine had amazing flavor. Intense with balanced acidity, easy to peel. Lots of seeds made the kids complain a bit. If it does not get pollinated I believe this cultivar would be seedless. Always ripe around Christmas.

Carte Noir was good but is actually an early variety. At its best in November for me. Still good. The peel is thin, easy to peel but it crumbles. The peel dries out like leather within a few days, making this a backyard cultivar. After 5 days the wife begins to frown at it and wont give it to the kids. It has only a few seeds, despite heavy pollination.

Seedless Kishu was very good despite being a less established tree. That means that once the roots are established, it will probably blow away its competition. The kids love this because it is small and easy to peel and has no seeds. For sure get this cultivar if kids will be eating the fruit. It is also early.

Satsuma was not as good as it normally would be because we had abused the tree prior to installing a well and then transplanted it. It will be amazing again in a year or two. Amazingly easy to peel, true seedless, early. Much as I would love to find something novel or interesting, there is a reason this is often considered #1 for home gardens.

Tango was picked ridiculously early just out of curiosity. It was actually fairly decent despite how early we picked it. Needed another month. True seedless.

Fina was on a graft and I forgot to include it in the taste test. It was as good as Carte Noir this year, second to Algerian in flavor grafted on a Cara Cara tree. It might be even better otherwise. I think I remember it having hardly any seeds.

What are your favorite early to midseason mandarins?



I enjoy sweet and acidic taste, and Nova has been a satisfying early/midseason mandarin. Have you tried it before? I believe there is a recent Lee x Nova but I haven’t tried it yet.

Thanks for the suggestion! Nova I would be less interested in given the seeds and the satisfying varieties I have already. Lee x Nova (AKA USDA 88-2 and supernova etc) looks interesting, and seedless too. I have not grown it but it has an interesting history: