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hawaiian mandarin seeds

Hawaiian mandarin seeds

The rather unusual name for this natural tangelo is said to have been given to this unattractive but delicious fruit in the Canadian market which first received it. It was referred to as the “Ugly” citrus fruit. Soon thereafter, the name UGLI� became a copyrighted trademark of Cabel Hall Citrus Ltd. Flesh is orange-coloured, tender and very juicy. The flavour rich and subacid. Maturity season late.

This species is the Shekwasha or sequasse in collections in the United States and the shiikuwash� of Okinawa and Taiwan. The tree is vigorous, round-topped, and finely stemmed. The fruit is very small, orange-coloured, oblate, and highly depressed at both ends, with very thin, loose, and aromatic rind. The flesh is soft, gelatinous, and acid, but ultimately attains a rich flavour. The tree makes an attractive ornamental.


The following information is from The Facts sheets of Tahoe Gold , Yosemite Gold and Shasta Gold mandarins written by M.L. Roose and T.E. Williams, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences’ University of California, Riverside.

The fruit is orange-red, small, oblate, and highly depressed at the apex, with thin, somewhat rough rind. The flesh texture is soft and juicy and the flavour is somewhat acid.

Sour mandarin is the sunki, suenkat or sunkat of South China. It is the Citrus reticulata var. austera of Swingle’s classification that is in the pedigree of both Yuzu (Citrus junos) and Calamondin (Citrus madurensis).

It is a medium-small, upright tree with distinctive pale-green leaves. The fruit is medium-small, oblate and markedly depressed at both ends, and with basal furrows. The rind is strong and spicy with a distinctive aroma.

The flavour is acid, the fruit never becoming edible. Seeds are medium-large and plump. Citrus sunki is considered to be native to China and is said to be a widely employed rootstock in China and Taiwan.


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Hawaiian mandarin seeds

So just how did Hawaiians become obsessed with salty, dried fruit from Asia? Well, it all goes back to early immigrants who came to Hawaii to work in the pineapple and sugar plantations. Workers from China, Japan, the Philippines, and other places brought their traditional foods with them. As time went on recipes changed and foods like manapua, sushi, and pansit became “local.”

Li Hing Mui was brought to the islands by Chinese immigrants from Zhongshan, China. Li hing mui (旅行梅) means “traveling plum,” which makes sense since dried, preserved fruits are great for taking on long trips, such as the journey across the Pacific Ocean these Chinese immigrants took to get here. Preserved seeds both last a long time and also can help replenish salt lost by sweat.

Hawaiian crack is of the seed variety. It’s the original finger licking good snack and our entire state is obsessed with it. Just the mention of crack seed is enough to cause our mouths to water and our lips to pucker.

The term Crack Seed is now used throughout Hawaii to refer to all types of preserved fruit snacks. However, it is also a specific type of preserved plum with its actual pit or seed cracked open and marinated in a delicious sweet and sour sauce. You suck on the seed and eat the surrounding meat while licking your sticky red fingers. Mmmmmm.

Yick Lung was the first company to make Li Hing Mui a profitable commercial enterprise. They began importing preserved fruit, also known as See Mui, in bulk from China in the early 1900s. In order to appeal to local taste buds they would season the preserved plums with salt, licorice and other spices to create new types of seed snacks such as rock salt plum, sweet sour plum, and crack seed.