Citrus fruits don’t continue to ripen after harvesting, unlike other fruits. So they need to be picked at their best. For the consumer, you need to know if the fruit has been in storage for too long (and so has aged), or was picked when it was under or over ripe.
When you pick up a clementine, the peel should feel as if it has come away from the fruit slightly, and therefore have a loose feel to the touch, but still firm beneath. They should also feel heavy compared to their size.
Clementines are at their best when they are smaller, and if you see the larger ones (more than 6-7 cms across), they’re likely to be dry and unpleasant to eat.
Clementines should have a lovely citrusy aroma to them, with a distinct sweetness. That is, they should smell like you want to eat them.
The skin should be glossy, bright, with a gorgeous orange colour.
Clementines can be kept on the counter, out of direct sunlight, for about a week, or a little longer in the refrigerator sealed in a plastic bag.
Seb is a writer and blogger of food and nutrition. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in nutrition science, and has studied sports and exercise nutrition at postgraduate level. He specialises in plant-based nutrition and believes passionately that we can all live with a little less meat.