I love these little Cuties and for a long time I thought I was eating the same tangerines we used to pick off the trees in Florida when we were kids. Then someone told me they were not tangerines at all, but a variety of Mandarin orange. Well, they fooled me. Google tells me that clementines started to be imported to the U.S. from France a few years back after a freeze wiped out most of the Florida orange crop. They caught on big and now they're popular enough to be grown in California. Right after the freeze hit California's crop a couple of weeks ago, I heard that citrus prices would go up. Sure enough, the Cuties that I paid $5.95 a crate for last week are $6.95 this week.
The price won't deter me. Five pounds of easy peel, seedless, supersweet "tangerines" means I can throw a few in my lunchbag to take to work. They may not replace Godiva chocolates anytime soon but while they're in season they'll be my darling clementines.