December 12, 2006


Throughout late fall and winter, these small net bags of oranges called mikan are in fruit shops and grocery stores. The mikan come in three sizes S,M,L. They are seedless and they have thin peel. They are about the size of tangerines but they don't taste like tangerines.

I have heard some western people translate mikan as "mandarin oranges." I have heard some western people refer to them as tangerines. But again, they do not taste like tangerines.

It is nice to sit at the kotatsu (see table heater), drink green tea, and eat mikan. Baba always has a basket of mikan. We do, too.

Many years ago, Jiji, Grandfather, showed me how to peel a mikan. He said to peel it in one piece. The mikan then has a place to sit as you eat one segment at a time. That's polite, he said. It's neater that way, too. It's also easier to throw away one piece instead of many little pieces.

Here's basically how to keep it one piece:
Choose the side opposite the navel (where the stem is) to start peeling. The navel will hold it all together. Look at the middle picture. The mikan on the right is sitting with its navel up.

Here's another post about kotatsu. Click on the label below for more ways to stay warm in Japan.

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