Summer peaches and apricots may be gone, but Sacramento foodies have a new crop to look forward to: Mandarins.
The crop is usually at its peak from mid-November to late December or early January, but I hear from Joanne Neft, former director of the Placer County Agriculture Marketing Program, that the crop is earlier than usual and the fruit will be “extra sweet” this year.
There are more than 65 mandarin orange orchards in Placer County, and growers are gearing up for the annual Mountain Mandarin Festival, which will occur on November 20th, 21st and 22nd at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn. The festival, which celebrates the harvest of our locally-grown Owari Satsuma mandarins, features live entertainment, crafts, a cooking stage with chef demonstrations and an area devoted to children’s activities (plus lots of mandarins for sale). There’s also a plethora of mandarin-inspired fare: 2008 nibbles included mandarin orange gelato and chocolate-dipped mandarin oranges. 40,000 people attended last year’s festival.
Mountain Mandarin Festival
Information: www.mandarinfestival.com; (916) 663-1918
Location: Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High Street, Auburn
Preview Friday 12pm – 5pm
Saturday: 9am to 5 pm
Sunday: 9am to 4 pm