Mandarin oranges are a huge part of Chinese New Year, but most of us don’t realise that there are so many different varieties available for purchase in our supermarkets.
A bit of background: Native to South-east Asia and originally cultivated in large quantities in China and Japan, mandarin oranges spread further around the world only from the early 19th century.
They have since become so widely and successfully grown that mandarin varieties and hybrids together form the largest group in the citrus genus.
The mandarin orange is considered a chief citrus species, along with the pomelo and the citron. Almost all other commonly eaten citrus fruits, including regular oranges and lemons, are descendants of these three and their hybrids.