[nafex ibiblio list] "a tribute to Dancy tangerines" (fwd from 1994 archives)

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lflj at bellsouth.net
Thu Dec 22 18:20:00 EST 2011


On the night of the winter solstice, I approach the venerable old tree,
living shrine of the sacred genes.  With snippers in hand I begin
harvesting the fruit.  With each little snip, the cool breeze from the
lake becomes more and more perfumed with thymol and limonene, an 
olfactory flashback to holidays past and future.  The tangerines are at 
their peak, nearly explosive with aromatics; just handling them is 
enough to release a little peel oil, compounding the orgy of promising 
aromas, harbingers of gustatory gratification.

Gently I carry them into the house.  Holding one up to the light,
I savor the characteristics of this cultivar, the variety that I value
above all others.  The indescribable but unmistakable color, somewhere
between red and orange, more tantalizing than the glint of gold.
I offer obeisance to these noble oblate orboids, and break one open
as an oblation.  The rind is thin and tight but easy to peel, and soon
the interior glory is revealed: the articulated segments, the hollow 
axis, the mysterious bits of stringy "rag."  Two segments at once, gotta 
have it, I bite down and the juice sprays onto my eagerly waiting tongue 
and palate.  Ah, the complex completeness of it all: the ketones and 
flavones, the ascorbic and citric acid, the sugars, and the unique 
overtone of tangeretin -- a chemical orchestra playing the finest 
sensory symphony.

Lord, curse the citrus breeders who create varieties that are hard 
enough to roll down conveyor belts and be dropped into boxes, varieties 
that look good but taste like sugared cellulose, cultivars that can be 
waxed and sit on a store shelf for three weeks and still look attractive 
enough to trick someone into buying them.  Lord, bless the soul of 
Colonel Dancy, patron saint of the mandarin clan, bless him for the 
acuity of his eyes and taste buds.  Amen.

-- Rick Harrison (hrick at world.std.com)


<fwd from 1994 archives) "a tribute to Dancy tangerines"
Article 122 of sci.agriculture:
Newsgroups: sci.agriculture,rec.gardens,alt.agriculture.fruit
From: hrick at world.std.com (Richard K Harrison)
Subject: a tribute to Dancy tangerines
Followup-To: alt.agriculture.fruit
Keywords: tangerine,mandarin
Organization: The World Public Access UNIX, Brookline, MA
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 00:35:39 GMT

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