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Spain’s Christmas Orange, la Clementina

December 2014

Green, gold, red and silver – these are the colors of the holidays. But in Spain, there’s another color that adorns festive gatherings: the vibrant orange skin of a clementine. As one of the largest producers of this exotic winter fruit, Spain celebrates the peak of their season during the holidays by giving charming wooden boxes filled with them that are as welcome a gift as any other.

Clementines were introduced to Spanish terrain in the early 20th century, with the Mediterranean’s warm, dry climate serving as the ideal environment for them to grow in. While today California has also become a large producer of them, Spain remains one of the leading exporters of the fruit. 

What’s not to love about a clementine? Its mesmerizing aroma and easy to peel skin make it a perfect snack that can be enjoyed in minutes. Packed with Vitamin C and a great source of fiber, it’s a healthy choice with flavor that still feels like an indulgence. And its uniquely sweet taste and seedless, silky flesh make it a great addition to a variety of dishes from breakfast to dinner, including sauces and beverages, and salads like with endive of crumbled goat cheese. 

Our DC-area Jaleos will be celebrating Spain’s most exquisite export during our annual Clementina Festival through December 30th, with traditional dishes featuring the “Christmas Orange,” such as seared duck and sautéed squid with artichokes. You can celebrate it, too, by giving the gift of clementines this year and serving it with an easy appetizer like this endive recipe, which is perfect for entertaining a crowd. For more details on this year’s Clementina Festival, click here.

Click here to see the Endive with Clementines, Goat Cheese and Almonds Recipe