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The Villages
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

What happened to the tangerines?

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

It has been some time since I ventured to write a column. There will probably be a big yawn by some, and others will wonder, “What will he do now?” I guess the reason why is that every once in a while, something will intrigue me, and I have to look at the situation. The situations may vary, but there is often a little bit of mystery involved.

The event before me right now involves tangerines. I mean, have you ever seen one tangerine in a grocery store recently? I have seen something that they claim are mandarins.  They can’t be tangerines as mandarins come in little cans that the grocers put up high so that people like The Blonde in the House can’t reach them.

There is definitely something amiss here.  The grocers never mention that there are no tangerines.  Are they all being sent to Ukraine which I am sure can use them. However, it seems to me that some mandarins could be sent and some tangerines saved for us.

I have to admit that one time we purchased a bag of mandarins. We tried them, but they were definitely not the tangerines we remembered. We moved to The Villages in 2000. For a number of years, we used to drive east on Rt 42 and go through some of Weirsdale until we crossed over Rt 35.  Then up the road a short way there was a little house-like structure.  There was never anybody there, but in front would be some baskets of tangerines. You could fill up one or more sacks with tangerines, leave a dollar or so a bag and head home.  Those were real tangerines, but they are not in the grocery store anymore!

As with most mysterious issues there are a lot of rumors going around as to the claim that a Chinese conglomerate bought up the trees and are planting them in China where labor is cheaper. In addition, the Chinese like them and there may not be any to export back to us.

Interestingly, there is a quaint little town off 441 before you get to Apopka named Tangerine. I got in touch with a guy I know there.  He doesn’t know what happened to the tangerines either. He also said that the town was not going to change its name to Mandarin despite rumors.  He did admit that in the coming election there were three candidates with Chinese names running for city council.

The latter worried me, but today The Blonde in the House and I were in a grocery store and ran into a friend.  The friend had just purchased a bottle of tangerine juice!! If there is tangerine juice there must be tangerines around.  Therefore, I am going to fight to keep the mandarins in their little cans and demand the return of tangerines to the grocery shelves.  A stand has to be taken. Your help will be appreciated.

Barry Evans is a columnist for Villages-News.com.

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