The days are finally getting colder, much to the relief of the Sierra Nevada Foothills residents who haven’t experienced a quintessential fall in years. However, along with the chilly weather comes cold and flu season. Luckily, fall in Placer County also brings the beginning of mandarin season. Placer County mandarins have been found to contain synephrine, a natural decongestant, which can help relieve seasonal cold and allergy symptoms. In addition to the natural decongestant, a single mandarin also provides up to 80% of your daily vitamin C needs, as well as plenty of antioxidants.
Autumn in Placer County is characterized by not only the dazzling reds and oranges of the leaves, but also by the bright orange glow of Mandarins hanging throughout the orchards. California’s Mediterranean climate creates the sweetest and juiciest mandarins and everyone has the opportunity to savor these nutritious treats at the Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn on November 21st and 22nd. Local growers will be selling their delicious crop and will also be distributing free samples! This family friendly event will feature cooking demonstrations, crafts, live music, and a mandarin recipe cooking contest.
Mandarins are a family favorite and there is no shortage of recipes involving this sweet and nutritious fruit. Once you get your fresh mandarins from the festival, get creative and try making the following dishes: mixed baby greens salad featuring mandarins, spicy pork stir fry, mandarin orange chicken, teriyaki roasted salmon with oranges, mandarin orange cake, mandarin lemon curd, or save them for Thanksgiving and serve a honey ham with mandarin oranges accompanied with mandarin orange champagne cocktail.
Next weekend come to the Gold Country Fairgrounds, have some autumn fun and show your support for the local growers who have blessed Placer County with this fantastic fruit. While you’re there, be sure to stop by the Side Hill Citrus booth and say hi to PLT Board member and orchard owner Rich Ferreira. You may recall that Side Hill Citrus is the world’s first permanently protected mandarin orchard, protected with an agricultural easement. Learn more about conservation easements on PLT’s website at http://www.placerlandtrust.org/conservation/.
By Alyssa Harmon