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Orange vs. Tangerine: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 31, 2024
Oranges are larger, less sweet citrus fruits with a thick skin, while tangerines are smaller, sweeter, and have a thinner, easier-to-peel skin.

Key Differences

Oranges are a popular citrus fruit known for their vibrant color and slightly acidic, sweet taste. Tangerines, on the other hand, are a type of mandarin orange, smaller in size, with a sweeter flavor and a softer, easily peelable skin.
The skin of an orange is typically thicker and harder to peel compared to a tangerine. Tangerines, with their thinner skin, are more convenient for quick snacking.
In terms of nutrition, oranges offer more fiber and vitamin C per serving, while tangerines are lower in calories and contain slightly less vitamin C.
Culturally, oranges are often associated with health and vitality, commonly used in juices and cooking. Tangerines, with their sweeter taste and smaller segments, are favored as a fresh, easy-to-eat snack.
Oranges are available year-round, but their peak season is winter. Tangerines have a shorter season, typically peaking in late autumn through winter.

Comparison Chart



Skin Thickness

Thicker and harder to peel
Thinner and easy to peel


Slightly acidic and sweet

Nutritional Content

More vitamin C and fiber
Less vitamin C, fewer calories


Juices, cooking
Fresh snacking

Orange and Tangerine Definitions


A citrusy taste derived from oranges.
The cake had a subtle orange flavor.


A small, sweet citrus fruit with a loose skin.
She packed a tangerine for her lunch.


A round, citrus fruit with a tough orange rind.
The orange was juicy and delicious.


A sweet, tangy taste typical of the fruit.
The dessert had a hint of tangerine flavor.


A pigment used in art and industry, resembling the color of the fruit.
He chose an orange pigment for the painting.


A small citrus tree that produces tangerines.
Their garden has a tangerine tree.


A bright reddish-yellow hue.
The sunset was a brilliant shade of orange.


Often symbolizes abundance and good fortune.
In the painting, the tangerine represented prosperity.


The evergreen tree that bears orange fruits.
The orange tree in our yard is blooming.


A deep orange color.
The dress she wore was a beautiful tangerine.


Any of several evergreen trees of the genus Citrus of Southeast Asia, widely cultivated in warm regions and having fragrant white flowers and round fruit with a yellowish or reddish rind and a sectioned, pulpy interior, especially the sweet orange and the bitter orange.


A widely cultivated variety of mandarin orange having deep red-orange fruit with easily separated segments.


The fruit of any of these trees, having a sweetish, acidic juice.


A strong reddish orange to strong or vivid orange.


Do oranges and tangerines grow on the same type of tree?

No, they grow on different types of citrus trees.

Are oranges or tangerines better for juicing?

Oranges are typically preferred for their higher juice content.

Why are tangerines easier to peel?

They have thinner, looser skin compared to oranges.

Are oranges and tangerines related?

Yes, tangerines are a type of mandarin, which is a subgroup of oranges.

Are tangerines less acidic than oranges?

Yes, tangerines are sweeter and less acidic.

Which has more seeds, oranges or tangerines?

Oranges generally have more seeds.

Are there different varieties of oranges and tangerines?

Yes, both have several varieties with varying tastes and appearances.

Can both oranges and tangerines be eaten raw?

Yes, both are commonly eaten raw.

Can I substitute tangerine for orange in recipes?

Yes, but expect a sweeter, less acidic flavor.

Is the nutritional value of oranges and tangerines similar?

They are similar, but oranges have slightly more vitamin C and fiber.

Do oranges and tangerines have the same shelf life?

No, tangerines generally have a shorter shelf life.

Can I eat the skin of tangerines?

While edible, it's usually not preferred due to its bitter taste.

Are tangerines a hybrid fruit?

No, they are a natural variety of mandarin.

Can allergic reactions occur with oranges or tangerines?

Yes, though rare, citrus allergies can occur.

Why are oranges called "oranges"?

The name comes from the fruit's color.

Are tangerines good for weight loss?

Yes, due to their low calorie and high fiber content.

Can oranges and tangerines be frozen?

Yes, but they are best used in cooked dishes or smoothies after thawing.

Are the leaves of orange and tangerine trees similar?

They are similar, but tangerine leaves are often smaller.

Is it true that oranges were originally green?

Yes, in warmer climates, oranges can remain green even when ripe.

Are there any cultural significances associated with tangerines?

Yes, they are often associated with good luck and prosperity in some cultures.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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