Friday, January 31, 2020

Should You Eat an Orange in the Shower? We Tried It

Where do you eat your oranges? At the table? On a picnic? Maybe at your desk at work, or out of a lunch bag somewhere?

Sure, seems reasonable…but what about in the shower?
"Shower | No. 2”  (c) 2011 Glen Bledsoe, CC-BY-SA 2.0

Okay, we know it sounds crazy. But “shower oranges” were a surprisingly popular online fad a little while back. Believe it or not, there is an entire community on Reddit devoted to the joy of eating oranges in the shower. 

It’s really as simple as it sounds, if you’re wondering. Take an ordinary orange, bring it into the shower, peel it up as the hot water rains down on you (let the peels drop to the shower floor below!), and enjoy that new and different eating experience. Are you intrigued? We tried it at our house.

Shower Orange: Two Reviews

Shower Orange Eater #1, my daughter, is a college student. She enjoys oranges, but typically prefers them sliced, and is definitely not a fan of “the white stuff” (pith). She also has long, manicured nails, which is probably why she’s not a big fan of peeling oranges. Still, she was willing to try out the Shower Orange for science. Here’s how it went:

“Ugh! It tastes like shampoo!”
“It got in my eye.”
“I just bit a seed.”
“Eww, it’s touching my feet!”
“I don’t get the hype.”

As a matter of fact, Shower Orange Eater #1 did not even finish her orange in the shower. She preferred to consume it dry and in her PJs. Hmm.

This was not a very positive review for the Shower Orange. Still, I was determined to try it myself. Unlike my daughter, I don’t mind peeling oranges, and am happy to eat them either sliced or sectioned. Here are my thoughts:

“Wow, it’s so fragrant when you peel it in here.”
“I kind of feel like an ape.”
“I think I get it. This way you feel like you can just bite it wherever, like an apple.”
“Okay, this is fun.”
“…But yeah. I don’t want to clean this up.”

The verdict for me: I’d try the Shower Orange again, especially after a workout or a long hike. I think the orange should be cold from the fridge. I also definitely suggest choosing an orange that’s as close to seedless as possible, and one that’s very tender, with no pith or stringy bits. If it has those, you might be tempted to drop them on the shower floor, but then who’s going to clean those up? You, that’s who (unless you have someone available to clean up your shower orange mess!)

Why Did the Shower Orange Catch On? 

What’s the real story behind the shower orange mystique? I read a few articles about this, and there is a little science behind it. The high humidity and heat of the shower “atmosphere” likely increase the aromatic qualities of the oranges, as well as our ability to smell them. After all, most of our sense of taste is really our sense of smell.

Of course, another part of the appeal is the lack of stickiness! With shower oranges, you can feel free to let the juice run all over your hands and wrists, because it’s going to get washed off immediately. This makes for a less fussy, more primal orange-eating experience.

It also seems novel and different, and that’s fun. And hey, it feels kind of “naughty” to drop those peels on the floor. (This is probably more fun if someone else is going to clean them up.)

But is this enough to explain why has over 61,000 followers? (Yes, really.)

To be honest, I’m still not quite sure. You might just have to try the shower orange yourself and find out. 

(Need a recommendation? Florida Fruit Shippers suggests Navel Oranges or Sol Zest Mandarins for your shower orange—Honeybells in season.)

Want to be notified when we post more articles? Sign up for our mailing list!

Monday, January 13, 2020

What’s the Difference Between an Orange and a Mandarin Orange?

When you think of a mandarin orange, what comes to mind?

Do you think of those little seedless fruit that you get for your kids’ lunch?

Maybe you imagine those oranges that come in a can and get mixed with fruit and whipped cream or put on green salads.

As usual when it comes to the citrus “family tree,” though, the truth is more complicated!

The mandarin orange is indeed a little, squat fruit, smaller than the big round eating oranges like the Navel.  The taste of a mandarin is extra sweet, and you won’t find much white pith when you peel their thin skin.

And yes, some types of mandarin have long been canned, mainly because their small size, sweet taste, and lack of pith makes that easy and marketable.

Mandarins Might Not Be What You Think

But the mandarin isn’t a hybrid or a recently developed specialty citrus. Actually, instead of asking, “What is a mandarin orange?”, it might be more accurate to ask—what isn’t (at least in part) a mandarin?

In fact, we can probably think of the mandarin as the mother of almost all the citrus we know and love today.

The mandarin, a very ancient fruit, is believed to have originated in an area that includes Japan, Vietnam, and China. Their ancestors can still be found growing wild there in the mountains. (Where did the name “mandarin” some from? It's thought to be related to the yellow or orange cloaks worn by “mandarins,” the government officials of China when the fruit began to be exported.) It's such a delicious fruit that many of the citrus we eat today were developed from it!

Which Fruits Are and Aren't Mandarins?

So, how does this relate to the citrus we love today? Well...

1. These fruits are definitely mandarin oranges:

--Tangerines, including the Dancy, Sunburst, and Murcott (honey) tangerines

While many people use the terms “mandarin” and “tangerine” interchangeably, it is more accurate to say that a tangerine is a type of mandarin. 

2. These fruits are commonly called mandarins, and closely related to the “original” mandarins:


Clementines are very closely related to the original mandarins and usually quite small. You can know a clementine by its very smooth, shiny rind.

3. These fruit are also descended from mandarins, though more distantly:

--Tangelos, like the Honeybell
--All sweet oranges, like navels, Temples, and juicing oranges
--Even lemons and limes!

Yep, that’s right! All of these very popular and well-known fruits have mandarin "moms and dads."

Have we convinced you of the importance of the mandarin yet?

A New Favorite Mandarin

Here at Florida Fruit, of course, we sell a lot of mandarin-type fruit. One of the most “mandarin-y” (and one you’ll see us actually referring to as a mandarin) is our new Sol Zest mandarin. These fruit are newly available in Florida, and you won’t yet see them in stores. We think their bright, sweet flavor, small size, seedlessness, and ease of peeling makes them an incredibly easy fruit to love.

Mandarins have long been linked to good luck and the new year in Asian culture. This might be why oranges also are associated with Christmas celebrations in Christianity. There’s something about the bright, juicy taste of citrus in winter that’s awfully hard to resist, as we at Florida Fruit Shippers definitely know!

If you enjoy the uniquely sweet tang of mandarin oranges, here are a few recipes that celebrate this ancestral and delicious “mother of citrus”:

Want to be notified when we post more articles? Sign up for our mailing list!

© 1996-2013 Vegetable Kingdom Inc., PO Box 530456, St. Petersburg, FL 33747 All rights reserved.
Florida Fruit Shippers® is a registered trademark of Vegetable Kingdom Inc.