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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Ugly Mandarin

After some 30 years in the design field, looking for the perfect response to every site, seeking balance, form and beauty with rocks and plants, soil and water, earth and sky, one can become easily guided by things based purely on an aesthetic appeal. I am fascinated with the simple and clean design of modern site and building design, I love the interplay of clean simple strong geometries and yet, I am often reminded that there is always more to behold than the visual. Such is with fruit, we are taught to be select the most benign and familiar of fruit, bananas that look like bananas and oranges that are bright orange and smooth, unblemished. Yet, I selected a lumpy, oblate mandarin and was quite well rewarded.
Called a Golden Nugget Mandarin, it is a recent introduction from a long breeding process at UC Riverside. Related to the easy peel mandarins, yet the size of a small orange. The fruit peels easily and the flavor is sweet, slightly honeyed and richer than the smaller mandarins.
The most interesting thing about it all is the peel, whole easily peeled, the rind was quite oily and expressed an exceptional amount of oil. The aroma was not only pungent, but, spicy and citrusy. I think this rind may be the most interesting aspect of this fruit.

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