Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Darling Clementine(s)

This is my favorite time of year. Sure, I like Christmas and all that, but what I really love . . . are clementines! And not just any ones, but those that are shipped in a charming little wood crate with "Darling Clementines" printed on the label.

It's a silly play on the sentimental, mawkish, old song "Oh My Darling, Clementine!" about a 49-er miner's drowned daughter. And so, of course, the "Darling" on the label bears no relation to your's truly. That notwithstanding, every year I look forward to finding these tasty clementines in the grocery store and am always delighted to take them home with me. Popping a section of one of these easy-to-peel, little early-winter pleasures from Spain in one's mouth is--for me at least--a particularly Proustian experience.  It's hard to eat just one--thankfully, several dozen come in each box! 

The chorus to the mournful song takes on a decidedly new meaning, when considering where these little darlings wind up . . .

Oh my darling, oh my darling,
Oh my darling, Clementine!
Thou art lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine!


  1. Reggie, here at my mother's house in Santa Barbara, we pick mandarins from the trees outside. Although I am sure you would have to retreat to the East Coast at some point, I imagine you might enjoy it here for a visit.

  2. Is a clementine the same thing as a mandarin?
    I have not seen them for sale here in Australia but we sure have tons of mandarins growing here.

  3. LPC and Lady Jicky:
    Thank you I have learned something from you. After doing a little research I have found that a clementine is actually a mandarin, or at least a type of mandarin. And I thought mandarins only came in a can!

    LPC, I can assure you that I would prefer to be in Santa Barbara at this time of year instead of wintry, rural New York. I visited SB many years ago as a houseguest in one of the more spectacular houses I've had the pleasure to stay in. SB's rugged beauty was astonishing to this East Coast lad, and I thought the wobbly wasps that I encountered there could show their Eastern cousins a thing or two.

  4. I adore clementines. My favorite fruit!

  5. Reggie Darling, these are the only Clementines I buy. My orange cat is named Clementine and she has always believe those little oranges were named for her. But don't be making fun of the song. It is a fave here, the Cliff Eberhardt version is a must.


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