Florida Honey Tangerines are a late-season favorite prized for their honey-sweet flavor and sparkling juice. Grown only in the state of Florida, the arrival of Florida Honey Tangerines is a happy burst of Florida sunshine and pleasant reminder that spring will soon be here.
Only available from February through mid-April, Florida Honey Tangerines are a hybrid of tangerines and sweet oranges known as tangors (TANGerine + ORange) and exhibit the best characteristics of both fruits. Florida Honey Tangerines pair the sweet flavor and incredible juiciness of Florida oranges with the easy peeling and sectioning of sweet, flavorful Florida tangerines. Although they have a slightly tougher skin than most Florida tangerines, their high sugar content makes these succulent citrus treats worth a little extra work. The incredible sweetness of Florida Honey Tangerines is comparable to that of Florida Honeybells which are widely considered the sweetest of all citrus fruit.
While some mystery surrounds their origin, Florida Honey Tangerines, also called Murcott oranges, are believed to have originated in the 1920s with Charles Murcott Smith, the manager of a Bayview, Florida nursery.
Delicious for eating out of hand or juicing, Florida Honey Tangerines are a favorite with cooks who use their juice to flavor cakes, desserts, salad dressings and stir fry (for a wonderful citrus kick, squeeze two honey tangerine halves over your stir fry during the final minute of cooking). Their high sugar content means honey tangerines have a shorter shelf life than other fresh picked Florida citrus; several days at room temperature or about a week in the refrigerator crisper.
With their vivid orange rinds and fruit, Florida Honey Tangerines are an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and beta-carotene. They also contain essential minerals, B vitamins and disease-fighting flavonoids which research indicates may help protect against obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Their oil is extremely aromatic and makes an excellent addition to potpourri.