Nicknamed “The Honeybell” because of its bell shape, the Minneola tangelo is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. Its large size and slightly elongated “neck” make it easy to recognize. The most popular of the tangelos, seedless Minneolas are brimming with sweetly tart juice.
Key Attributes of Minneolas
- Sweet with a mild tartness
- Juicy and have relatively few, if any seeds
- Bright reddish-orange color and easy-to-peel skin
- Slightly bell shaped with a protruding nose at the stem-end neck
- Available January through April
The History of Minneolas
Minneolas are hybrids of a tangerine and a grapefruit. They are so distinctive that they earned their own classification in scientific terms, called tangelo, derived from tangerine x pomelo hybrid. (Aside Pomelo = Grapefruit; Pummelo = Shaddock or pample mousse).
The first crosses were done by Dr. Walter T. Swingle in Eustis, Florida, in 1897, and Dr. Herbert J. Webber in Riverside, California, in 1898. The Minneola itself is a hybrid of the Bowen grapefruit and the Dancy tangerine. It was first released in 1931 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Horticultural Research Station in Orlando, Florida. The Minneola has become such a popular fruit
because of its similarity to the delicious flavor of the tangerine, without the seeds.
Did You Know?
The Minneola has a relatively short season of maturity (depending on the region).
How to Care For and Store
Minneolas should be stored in a cool, well-ventilated area. Typically, storing minneolas between 45°–48° F is best. They can stay at room temperature for one week. If refrigerated, they can be kept for up to two weeks.
Selecting your Minneola
- Select a Minneola that is firm and heavy in your hand for its size
- Make sure that the Minneola doesn’t have soft spots or wrinkled skin
- While there should be no soft spots, the Minneola’s skin naturally has a slightly pebbly feel
- Check its scent – it should smell good, not rotten or fermented
2–4 squeezed Minneolas = 1 cup of juice
1 medium Minneola = 4 teaspoons of zest
Consumer freshly squeezed juice within 48 hours.
How to Enjoy
Peel and eat for a quick and easy snack on the go!
Incorporate the juice into your favorite cocktail.
Toss in slices with any salad to add color, sweetness and extra nutrition.
Bake into cakes for added exotic flavor.