Food Advent Calendar No.3 – Clementine
We dedicate the third day of our food advent calendar to the juicy clementine. This smaller sister of the common orange is less acidic and has a more mellow sweetness. An easy fruit to peal which many people confuse with mandarin oranges. Its origins have been contested from either a monastery in Algeria to mainland China. Wherever it originated from, the clementine is central to the Christmas pantry.
The clementine is a main ingredient in an array of recipes. From the obvious mulled wine to other hot alcoholic drinks, the clementine is also widely used in desserts, roasted ham and game.
While kids nowadays get inundated with chocolate treats and gadgets in their Christmas stockings, the main tradition of proper stocking fillers would always include a clementine. One might think it was an obvious item because the fruit is in season at this time of the year. There are more symbolic reasons though and its not just about getting a needed supplement of vitamin C!
One popular myth goes that St. Nicholas, hailing from a wealthy family, intervened to the fears of three sisters who were about to be sold to slavery. He dropped three sacks of gold down their chimney to coincidentally land in their stockings which were hanging up to dry. The clementine is today’s representation of the gold donated by St. Nicholas.
A Christmas cocktail drink to give a try: Spiced Clementine Sour