California is in a drought (2015) and the weather being erratic has caused a number of problems with the produce. Some vegetables were in short supply or destroyed. The lemon yield didn’t come, I had to buy them imported from the supermarket (with wax all over them, sigh). But “off bloom” mandarin were an unexpected surprise this early to mid October.
Typically, citrus only blooms once a year, and the season ends once autumn begins. This year, I found a different color and shaped fruit at the fruit stall. The color is a muted yellow, a lower saturation (if you know anything about design) and the shame, round with a point. It was an “off bloom” mandarin. That means the tree blooms for the second time and produces another lot of fruit. For whatever reason, they are different from the usual yield. There were bigger and lighter than the usual. The taste were lightly sweet, had no tartness, a soft citrus.
I don’t actually eat mandarins, but these were amazing. My favorite of all the orange citruses. I was very sad when that lot were sold out as I may never have it again.