Luckily, even dime-store mandarins always seem to be good. I was disgusted though as I peeled the first fruit of a new box (of the CA "Cutie" brand not Spanish "Clementines"). I removed the peel to find the normally white albedo layer distinctly orange - a supposed sign of artificial dye - though the edible part was sweeter and more tender than most.
I spent a long time on the Internet trying to find out if this was normal coloring for this variety or gross makeup and seemed to settle on three possible conclusions.
- The FDA banned fruit dyes a decade or so ago
- The FDA now requires added coloring to be listed as an ingredient
- Florida and Texas dye their fruit but California fruit change color naturally
I really know nothing about citrus, but it's a pretty fascinating group of fruit - with very different ripening biology than the plants I'm used to. I've read some good books revolving around apples and stone fruits. Anyone know of any good citrus ones?
*as a biased student of California Ag, I blame Florida!