With new season navels and mandarins hitting the farmers markets, MFM intern and food waste warrior Chikako gives you some ways to make the most out of your citrus.

Origin of Mandarin

Kotatsu is a Japanese heating appliance which uses a blanket and heater under the table. Photo via mio net: http://みお.net/3740.html

The mandarin orange is considered a native of South-Eastern Asia and the Philippines. The taste is considered less sour, as well as sweeter and stronger.

Mandarin culture in Japan

You cannot describe Japanese winter without mentioning about Mikan (Japanese word for mandarins) and kotastu (Japanese heating appliance) – a typical scene you see in Japanese households in wintertime. No access to kotastu? – No worries, we’ve got you and we have some suggestions to warm you up even if you do not have kotatsu!


Make the most out of Mandarins!  Mandarin infused bath?

Mandarins are in season now

Please, do not throw mandarin skins straight after you finish eating! Why not taking a bath with mandarin skins floating? Dried mandarin skin is called “Chimpi” in Chinese medicine and has some health benefits- rich in Vitamin A and C, which warm up your body, prevent you from catching cold, and moisturize your skin. (No more dried skin in wintertime!) Additionally, mandarin skins are known for a good source for arthritis prevention. So here is just one simple step to prepare mandarin infused bath to get the most out of its health benefits: let skin completely dried and wrap dried skin with a thin towel and float it in the water (you do not have to wrap dried skin, if you prefer to just float skins, it still works) – as simple as that!

What’s after bath? Stay warm after taking bath by drinking homemade tea made out of mandarin skins!

Mandarin peel infused tea 

Chikako’s idea to spice up this tea: add a spoonful honey from your local farmers market

Mandarin infused tea is easy to make and is the perfect Winter warmer!

  1. Dry mandarin or orange skin in the oven on low heat, or naturally under the sun over a week or so
  2. Put dried peel into tea bag and place into 400ml water and boil it for 15-20 minutes with low-fire.
  3. Voila! Drink it while it’s warm.

The white small stripes under skins are effective for coughing, so don’t remove it