Like other citrus fruits, the original mandarin oranges were native to Asia and have been grown and enjoyed in China and Japan since early times.
They traveled to North Africa where the tangerine took its name from the Moroccan seaport of Tangiers and by the middle of the nineteenth century, people in all the Mediterranean countries were familiar with them.
Tangerines arrived in the United States when an Italian diplomat planted some in the consulate garden in New Orleans. The first commercial crops here were grown in Florida. Now California and Arizona are producers, too.
The main varieties of tangerines are the clementine and the Satsuma. The clementine is a North African tangerine with a deep, orange-red color. The Satsuma is a cold-resistant mandarin developed in Japan.