On the hunt for the perfect snacking citrus, with a reputation for having the best flavor around? Look no further than the Page Mandarin! We’re here to serve up all the facts on what makes this the best quintessential citrus for both growing and eating.
History of the Page Mandarin
The Page Mandarin had its start in the year 1942, when the United States Department of Agriculture successfully crossbred a Minneola tangelo and a Clementine mandarin. The result was a small, juicy, and very sweet variety that came to be known as the Page Mandarin.
Technically speaking, this fruit is most often classified as a hybrid tangelo. However, it is often used in place of oranges in recipes and juices. It is also frequently marketed alongside other mandarin varieties.
Because of this, it retains its mandarin classification.
Characteristics of the Page Mandarin
A Page Mandarin tree will fruit early on and ripen rapidly as compared to some other mandarin varieties. A crop from a healthy tree can sometimes be upwards of 5 pounds or more.
As for the fruit itself, the Page is characterized by its distinctly round fruits of a small to medium-small size. The Page Mandarin is fragrant throughout the ripening process, with a thin, leather-like rind that is very easy to peel. Beneath, you will find delectably sweet fruit in segments.
The Page Mandarin is also particularly notable for the powerful punch of flavor it packs. It is actually considered to be one of, if not the most, flavorful orange variety out there.
Page Mandarin Specific
The Page Mandarin is considered one of the most ideal snacking types of mandarins or tangelos. There are several contributing factors to this.
The most prominent would be its flavor. Eaten on its own, the Page Mandarin is just straight-up delicious. In fact, a lot of folks will enjoy two or three in a single serving just because it is so hard to get enough of that sweet flavor in one single, small Page Mandarin!
The Page Mandarin also makes for a tasty, healthy snack for young kiddos and toddlers. When properly prepared with the membrane removed, the Page Mandarin can make a great first foods snack for little ones who are learning to eat solids, helping to expand their palates and taste profiles.
Being that it is so easy to peel, it is also an ideal little snack for toddlers and other young children to practice honing their fine motor skills and peeling techniques on their own.
Not a big fan of the taste or texture of a raw Page Mandarin? Never fear, this delicious citrus variety has a lot of other practical applications as well!
One of the top uses for the Page Mandarin is as a juicing orange. Its rich body of sweet, classic orange flavor makes for a great juice orange, whether it is used simply by itself or to augment a blend of juices from other oranges.
The Page Mandarin can also find its uses in many dishes. Some of these include creamy or fresh fruit salads, paired with milder fruits such as apricots, melons, or bananas, as well as savory dishes such as glazes in a duck dish or a chicken course.
You could also use one to garnish certain fish platters, particularly sashimi or other sushi meals, or use the segments in desserts like breads, cakes, muffins, and cookies.
Lastly, you might consider canning or jarring some Page Mandarin. This can be a particularly fun way to serve the Page Mandarin to little eaters. If you have grown or purchased yourself a bumper crop, it is an easy way to go through a lot of stock with very little waste.
Despite it being a rather small mandarin variety, the Page Mandarin packs all the same amount of health benefits as its larger mandarin and orange citrus counterparts!
As most folks have learned over the years, citrus is a fantastic source of the immune system boosting from Vitamin C. The Page Mandarin is no exception. This small but mighty citrus variety packs a fairly whopping dose of Vitamin C, as well as bringing in other antioxidants properties that help fight off free radicals in your body.
This helps reduce inflammation throughout your system overall, which can lead to a boost in energy, greater mental clarity, reduction of aches and pains, less anxiety and depression, and much, much more.
In addition, you will find lots of other health benefits provided by regular consumption of the Page Mandarin. It can help regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels, enhance mood and cognitive function, reduce the risk of high cholesterol and certain other heart conditions, and even lower risk markers for specific types of cancers!
If you struggle with regular bowel movements, you may also want to increase your consumption of Page Mandarins. The Page Mandarin boasts a high dose of natural, bioavailable fiber, which helps regulate bowel function as well as improve the appearance and overall health of your hair, skin, and nails.
Best of all, you can get a really fantastic dose of these health benefits quite easily when eating Page Mandarins. Because they are so small and easy to eat and offer such great help to your body’s systems overall, a serving of three or more Page Mandarins is actually doing your body quite a bit of good.
Growing At Home
Given all of these profound benefits and appeals, it is truly no wonder the Page variety is highly sought after by growers all over the world! And the good news is that, whether you have a lot of space or limited space and whether you live in a warmer or colder climate, you have options to grow a tree right in your own space.
The Page Mandarin tree is rather low maintenance, with low water needs. It only requires pruning to reduce the growth of the tree or to limit and focus fruit production. Your typical tree will be about 8 feet tall when pruned back and will have a width of 4 to 6 feet.
For folks living in growing Zones 8 through 11, the good news is that a Page Mandarin tree is likely to thrive right in your soil! For citrus growers in growing Zones 4 through 11, you have the option of growing your tree as a patio plant in a pot.
This setup will allow you to bring your Page Mandarin tree indoors during chilly times, and will also give you some more control over its access to sunlight. This can also be a great option if you live in a space that typically gets more shade, as you can move your tree around to maximize its exposure to the sun.
Whether grown in the ground or in a pot, your tree will need access to full sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours each day. It will require a bit of wind protection as it will become somewhat top-heavy with the abundance of fruit it produces.
For a Page tree grown in a pot, you will want a container that is roughly 3 times the size of the tree’s root ball. For those who are growing trees in the ground, make sure to spread them out roughly 6 to 10 feet apart to avoid overcrowding. Whether in a pot or in the soil, you will want your Page Mandarin tree to have well-drained soil and you will need to water it 1 or 2 times a week.
Where To Buy
You can always start by searching for a young Page Mandarin tree at a local orchard, tree farm, lawn and garden center, etc. However, if you prefer to source online from reputable tree sellers, consider Nature Hills or Fast Growing Trees.
Go Out and Grow Your Own Mandarins!
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