In most cases, the best place to store tangerines (or bergamots, or tangerines) is in the lowest drawer of your refrigerator. That said, there are times when you might want to store the fruit at room temperature or in your freezer. There are a few ways to resolve this issue.
Method 1 of 3: Letting at Room Temperature
Step 1. Place the tangerines in an open container
A wire mesh basket or container works best, but anything with an open top will do. Wooden crates with open slits (such as "apple crates") also work very well.
Do not place fruit in a closed container. Cutting off air circulation can speed up the spoiling process, causing tangerines to mold and rot more quickly. Storing the fruit in a container that allows for more airflow will minimize this effect
Step 2. Keep them out of direct sunlight
Place the tangerines on a counter or table that doesn't get much or any direct sunlight. Lower temperatures and low humidity are also preferred conditions.
Sunlight, heat and humidity are factors that help the mandarins ripen. With ripe fruit, however, these conditions make the mandarin rot
Step 3. Store for two to seven days
When stored at room temperature, most tangerines will last up to two or three days. If the fruit was in excellent condition when it was stored and the site conditions are ideal, you may be able to keep it that way for an entire week.
Method 2 of 3: Refrigerating
Step 1. Arrange the tangerines in a canvas bag
If possible, place all the tangerines inside a plastic mesh bag. Close the mouth of the bag loosely, just to prevent the fruit from falling out.
- Although many people recommend storing tangerines in sealed plastic bags or containers with a lid, the fruit could become moldy and spoil quickly. Mesh bags allow air to circulate on all sides of the fruit, thus minimizing the risk of mold developing.
- In practice, you don't need to put the fruits in a canvas bag when storing them, as long as you keep them in the correct part of the fridge. The bag keeps the fruits organized and prevents them from bumping and rubbing, but you don't have to worry too much if you can't find a canvas bag to use.
Step 2. Place the fruit in the refrigerator's vegetable drawer
Regardless of whether you used the canvas bag or not, put the tangerines in the vegetable or fruit drawer of your refrigerator.
The humidity level inside this drawer is different from the rest of the refrigerator. You probably won't be able to control the humidity, but if there's a control knob on the drawer, leave it "low" to help prevent the fruit from molding
Step 3. Check the tangerines periodically
Scan the fruit every day or two and remove any that seem to be starting to go bad.
- If the fruit is starting to soften, use it the same day. Those that have softened too much and already look spoiled should be discarded.
- Separate fruits that are overcooked from those that are still fresh. Past fruits release a gas that accelerates the ripening of the others. Therefore, good tangerines will go over the top quickly if they stick together.
Step 4. Store for a week or two
You might even be able to keep the tangerines in good condition for a little longer if everything is in optimal condition. As this is unusual, be extra careful when consuming a tangerine that is more than two weeks old.
Method 3 of 3: Using the Freezer
Step 1. Peel and separate the tangerines
Peel off each fruit and separate its segments. Remove as much of the bagasse and fiber as you can find, as well as any seeds that are visible.
- Before peeling the tangerines, wash them under running water and dry them with a paper towel. Although the rind will not be frozen with the fruit, the dirt present there can be transferred to the buds by your hands.
- Note that this is the only method of freezing tangerines. It is not possible to freeze whole citrus fruits without significantly changing their texture and flavor.
Step 2. Arrange the buds in a container that can be taken to the freezer
Place the tangerine pieces in a freezer-resistant plastic container or a suitable bag. Do not exceed more than 3/4 of the container's capacity.
Step 3. Make a simple stove syrup
Mix 3 cups of sugar with 4 cups of water in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is clear. Allow the syrup to reach a constant boiling point before removing it from the heat.
After making the syrup, let it rest at room temperature until it cools. The syrup needs to be at room temperature
Step 4. Pour the syrup over the buds
Pour the cold syrup over the tangerine pieces in the containers. Add enough syrup to cover all cubes, leaving about 2.5 cm of space on top of each container.
- This space is necessary because the volume of the mixture can expand when freezing. If the container is completely full, it can burst or break with this expansion, messing up your entire freezer.
- Properly seal the bottles, removing as much air as possible.
Step 5. Keep frozen for up to 10 or 12 months
Place the packages with the tangerine wedges in the back of the freezer. They can be safely kept there for about a year.
- To defrost, place the container in the refrigerator and let it naturally drop in temperature for a few hours.
- If stored at a temperature below -18 degrees C, the tangerine will be good for a long time. However, it can lose a considerable amount of nutrients after the first 12 months, in addition to having its texture and flavors modified.