Tangerines and nectarines are both round, delicious, juicy fruits. But the similarities end there. They are completely different from one another; even though the sound of their names makes them seem as though they'd be alike they have different textures and tastes.
Tangerines come from the citrus fruit group. They are similar to an orange with an outer peeling that must be removed prior to eating. The fruit is naturally segmented into sections. The sections break apart easily when the fruit is opened. Nectarines do not belong to the citrus fruit group. They belong to the peach family. The main difference between the peach and nectarine is the outer skin. Peaches are known for their fuzzy exterior which is usually peeled. Nectarines have a smooth surface, that can be eaten.
Taste and Texture
Nectarines look similar to peaches; yellow or golden flesh with hints of red throughout. Nectarines are naturally sweet but they usually contain a hint of tartness. Nectarines are highly aromatic, giving off a sweet fragrance. Tangerines, like oranges, need to be peeled. They have a loose-fitting, outer layer skin that must be removed prior to consumption. The peel usually zips right open revealing the inner fruit inside. The segments are sweeter than that of the navel orange.
The seasons are different for these two fruits. Nectarines are harvested during the summer months, May through August. Whereas, tangerines are harvested during the winter months, November through January.
Florida produces approximately 70 percent of the orange fruit crops in the United States. A huge portion of those crops go straight to juices. Tangerines are also commonly grown in Arizona, Texas and California. California is responsible for more than 95 percent of the peach and nectarine crop in the United States. Nectarines are also commonly grown in Georgia, South Carolina, Washington and Colorado.
Nectarines must be picked ripe, they do not ripen well after being picked. They are delicate fruits that bruise easily and usually only hold up for about three days. If you have a lot of nectarines, you can make jam and jellies. Tangerines last quite a bit longer than nectarines. They can be kept for a little over a week.