Compared to oranges, tangerines tend to be smaller in size and have a looser peel. They are easy to peel, have seeds and a sweet-tart flavor. Minneola tangelos, one of the most plentiful tangerine varieties, are easily identified by their characterisitc knob-like formation at the end stem.
Choose tangerines that have deep, glossy orange skins that are heavy for their size. They will feel soft and puffy compared to oranges because of their loose fitting skins. Tangerines are ripe and ready to eat when you buy them.
Tangerines should be washed thoroughly before peeling. They are ready to be eaten out of hand once peeled or can be used in salads, desserts and other dishes. When using whole tangerine or segments, remove any seeds by snipping the center and gently squeezing. Freshly grated tangerine peel lends an exotic flavor to foods.