Tango, Honey Tangerine, W.Murcott?

simon_growMarch 22, 2011

Hello everyone, I recently bought what was labeled as a "Honey Tangerine" from Vons and it was super delicious. Its those common tangerines that are somewhat large with a very strong tangerine flavor and some honey flavor and it has lots of seeds. Well, after eating this fruit, I wanted to get a tree and did some research online but its kinda confusing with all the names out there.

I'm wondering what the difference is between California Honey Tangerines, Florida Honey Murcott and W. Murcott is? I also happened uppon a thread that said there is a new variety called "Tango" that is a seedless variety of W. Murcott, I think. Is W. Murcott similar or the same thing as California Honey Tangerine?

I really want a tangerine like the one I ate but with little or no seeds. The Flavor and sweetness is what I'm really after. I love that wonderful Honey flavor. Any help sorting these varieties out will be greatly appreciated.

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Simon, I have a couple of neighbors that have the "Honey Murcott Tangerine" and they are exactly as you describe them. I was just given a bag and they are SO delicious. Tons of seeds...not that easy to peel (not like the zipper skin dancy or sunburst). Also for us in FL...the honey murcott's are also a much later season usually peaks in March. As with the other tangerine (zipper skin types) starts around December and ends at the end of February. I can't comment on Tango or California honey variety since I'm not familiar with them.

Here's the ones I received... Honey Murcott Tangerines...

You can see how thin the peels are and they are a lot messier to eat than the zipper variety tangerines...but to me much sweeter and def. juicer.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 8:29AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

I'm wondering in the Honey Murcott and Tango are one in the same. Tango is an irradiated version budwood of the W. Murcott Afourer mandarin. Same fruit, just seedless. And exactly as described by Nancy. They are extremely popular with citrus growers as they are high producers, seedless, thornless, thin skinned and very delicious. All attributes that the public likes plus very productive for growers. They're in the grocery stores & farmer's markaets right now, so betting they are all one in the same. You check with Ray at Clausen's in Vista to see if they have Tangos availalbe, (760) 724-3143. Ganter Nursery in Vista says they have them on their website, I'd give them a call: http://www.ganternursery.com/ and see if they still have them in stock. And Four Winds has the Tango: http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/our-citrus-trees/mandarin.html

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UCR Citrus Varieties - Tango Mandarin

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:20AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Let me rephrase that, wondering if the "Honey tangerine" you bought at Von's is the same as the new Tango mandarin, which is a mutation of the W. Murcott. And that the Honey Murcott maybe be one in the same as the W. Murcott. So, what you had in the store, if it was seedless, was essentially a seedless version of the Honey Murcott Nancy shows in the photo. They look identical to my Tangos I have right now, bought at the Farmer's Market. Egads, not enough coffee on board before posting!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 1:45PM
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From what I've read, Tango fruits are marketed under the name "Cuties" so you should see them everywhere right now, at your local supermarkets, costco, etc. But they might be sold as Tango in farmers markets.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 12:01AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Yea, and that makes folks really confused because Cuties that are marketed around Christmas are actually Clementines. And, they both can also be marketed as "Delites" as well, just in case you weren't confused enough ;-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 12:37AM
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I shouldn't have drank that Heineken before reading these post, LOL :)
Nancy, thanks for the pictures, those do look delicious!
Patty, thanks for the link, I think I got the whole thing straightened out now:)

The fruit I purchased from Vons that is superb tasting is a California Honey Mandarin. It is one of my favorite tasting Mandarins but unfortunately it is loaded with seeds. It is a larger fruit than the Murcott which is different than the W.Murcott. A Tango is a seedless W.Murcott introduced by the university.

I just ordered a Tango from FourWinds and will probably pick up a Ca Honey Mandarin as well since I plan on juicing them. Boy, let me tell you, the juice is just delicious!

Now if only we can figure out the Cutie thing:(

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 2:06AM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

What is labeled as "California Cuties" changes from month to month. So, as the season goes on, they change from Clementines to Murcott to Tangos. I know this because last year, while researching this topic in order to buy more mandarin trees (my kid will only eat cuties and no other citrus, so we buy them by the bag from costco - delicious!), I emailed the california cuties company. I asked them how the taste varies as the season progressed and they told me that it was because of the change in fruit.
Tango is a superb fruit and worth planting.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:47PM
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I also did as Ashleysf did (funny I'm either one step behind or one step ahead of her on various fruit eating/growing topics). I talked with them in detail and a manager from a local packing house for Cuties.

Take a look at this link: http://www.sunpacific.com/cuties.html It has a table mid-way down that shows (not the exact names) their season and types of mandarins.

They don't really change from Month-to-Month, but more like crop season where they use "Early Clementines" until the Nules de Clementine (Clemenules) ripens and then go to Late Mandarins (W.Murcott/Tango).

The best, IMO is the middle of the season with the Clemenules. The worst is the early ones -- less sweet and harder to peel, bit thicker skin and bit more pithy.

Honey Mandarin, AKA CA Honey. Hybrid of King(C.Nobilis) x Medit. mandarin (C.Deliciosa)

Murcott (Tangor), AKA Florida Honey Tangerine
Mostly grown in FL and are very smooth skinned, heavy, juicy.

W. Murcott (Afourer)/Tango(seedless version): AKA Delite but also used as Cuties in "late mandarins" phase. Hybrid cross of Murcott Tangor x Clementine Mandarin (unsure of exactly which).

Nules Clementine (Clemenules) Mutation of Fina Clemenine
Much more balance between acid and sweetness. Whereas Algerian's are sweet with only about half the acid.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sun Pacific Cuties Page

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 3:00AM
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ashleysf(9 San Jose,CA)

Yes, among store bought cuties, I like the Nules De Clementine the best of them all. I was not pleased by the late season Cuties last year - they were puffy, yellow in color and not so sweet - maybe related to the California weather. Will observe more carefully this season!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:33PM
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AshleySF: it is funny b/c my youngest son (age 13) hasn't liked Citrus his entire life. But the last few times he had Cuties he's like "mmm, I think I like these". He also did favor Gold Nugget last year, after much prodding to try it. Hope so, since I have a Gold Nugget, Clemenules, Page, and Tango growing in the ground in the backyard.

Now my youngest daughter (age 2) loves Citrus as much as I do. She won't stop eating the sweet stuff, so I have to portion it out. She has started eating (licking) Eureka lemons straight off the tree, did so for an hour last week while the rest of us were pruning it down. She has quickly become daddy's little girl.

Mommy can't handle the acid in the citrus we all love, despite her love for the flavor.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 2:26PM
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Wow, thanks for all the great information everyone! I always thought cuties were just one type of fruit but my wife did sometimes complain that they were good or not so good sometimes.

I recently purchased a Gold Nugget and a Tango Tangerine and I hope they taste good.

Cebury, maybe you can try sucking on some miracle fruit and then sucking on the lemon, it will make the lemon taste sweet without any sugar.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 3:28AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Simon, can't go wrong with either. I've had both, and they are both very good, especially the GN. the Tango was a little "tangier", but still very good "tangerine" taste.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 9:23PM
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I am looking for a decent size Murcott Honey Tangerine tree to plant in Los Gatos, CA. Can only find a 1-2 foot tree so far. I would like it to bear fruit in the near future. Any suggestions where I could find one? Can the tree be transplanted now?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:32PM
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