Orange you going?

Canned mandarin segments and fresh, aggressively aromatic mandarin oranges hardly seem the same fruit. It’s a good thing I didn’t know what I was missing as a child when I slurped up the syrupy tinned variety with glee.

Now, though, I’m a satsuma snob–no less gleeful as I gobble the cuties like candy. So I’ll be hightailing it to the 18th annual Mountain Mandarin Festival in Auburn, November 18–20.

Up to 30,000 attendees will enjoy mandarin-related foods, activities and events. There’s a 5K and 10K run on Sunday, and a recipe contest for citrus-loving cooks. Children can enjoy crafts and contests in the Mini Mandarin Grove and Flo the Clown. If you’re feeling pretty, enter the Miss Mandarin Pageant on Saturday.

The amazing bonus of eating all that citrus is apparently relief from the evils of fall allergies! A study by the United States Department of Agriculture found that 10 ounces of Placer County’s Owari satsumas pack as much sniffle-busting synephrine as Sudafed! So you’ll find me, sated and sniffle-free this weekend, toting a bag of mandarins. Hope to see you there!