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The virtually seedless citrus delight known as Clementines have existed for thousands of years, yet interestingly have only gained popularity in this country since the 1990's.

Domestic growers have tried producing Clementines in California for nearly a hundred years, and until recently have been unable to grow Clementines without an abundance of seeds. The trick it turns out is isolation; Clementines will grow virtually seedless if isolated from other seeded citrus items, such as lemons. Valencia, Spain, where most of our imported Clementines come from has a very strict policy in place that assures minimal cross-pollination with seeded varieties. California will have difficulty implementing such a statewide policy, however we believe that there are some areas with potential for isolation of a Clementines crop. A California crop would have similar timing to the Spanish crop.

There are many varieties of Clementines that come from Spain. The first variety generally arrives in late October and is called the Marisol. This variety is not their best, it tends to be tart, difficult to peel and is prone to skin breakdown. Look for the Arrufatina variety just prior to Thanksgiving as the first of the better varieties. The best variety is the Clemenule. The Clemenule is the very sweet and easy peeling variety everyone loves, look for Clemenules throughout December and into January.


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