Clementines, also sometimes called Christmas oranges, are most commonly eaten fresh during the winter months. However, they can also be used to make jams, jellies or preserves. Storage recommendations for fresh clementines depend on how soon you're planning to eat them, and how you are planning to use them.
Clementines are fairly delicate, and their small size and thinner skin mean that they can become easily squashed or bruised. Don't store clementines in over-crowded conditions to prevent bruising. Clementines are often sold in wooden boxes, and these make ideal storage containers as the hard boxes provide protection from other foods. While clementines are protected from dehydration due to their skin -- as well as the wax coating applied by commercial retailers -- for long-term storage, the fruit should be kept in a semi-humid environment to prevent drying.
Clementines can be stored at room temperature for upwards of a week, although, in some cases, they may last no longer than a few days. However, clementines last for longer if you keep them in your fridge. Store the fruit in your fridge for two to three weeks.
Look for fruits with a bright orange color and a heavy feel. Clementines have a decent weight given their small size, somewhere between a baseball and a billiard ball. Avoid clementines that have dull-looking skin and visible blemishes. While fresh clementines are soft, they should not be mushy. Clementines that exude juice when gently squeezed are rotten and should not be eaten.
Clementines make for a healthy snack or dessert substitute when eaten fresh. However, the small fruits can be made into a jam or jelly, which is a good way to use up older fruits that won’t be eaten in time. The juice from fresh clementines can also be used in place of orange or lemon juice, to be used in salad dressings or as a seasoning for grilled or pan-fried fish. Peel and skin clementines, removing the white membrane around the individual sections, and add to a fruit salad or an Asian-inspired chicken salad.