Funny Fruit – Mandarina

She had said that we were allowed to eat a snack from the fruit bin whenever we liked. We had just landed in Bolivia and were invited to stay with another missionary family until we found a house. The quarters were cramped, but we were thankful for a roof over our head and some help acclimating. The wife had gone to do some grocery shopping and I stayed with the kids. After a while a snack sounded like a good idea so I looked to see what they had in the bin. Oranges, perfect! I opened the first one and it smelled a bit rotten, so I tossed it in the trash. The second one smelled equally potent, so it met its doom as well. As the sixth piece of fruit was being thrown away the woman of the house entered and said, “What are you doing!” She was shocked, so what should have been a question was clearly expressed as reproach. I jumped, startled, as the last fruit went to the can. I explained that the oranges smelled bad. She explained, “That’s because they are not oranges. They are ‘mandarinas’.” Profuse apologies from a newbie missionary to an upset hostess followed.

We are like that with God sometimes. If he asks us to do something that smells different we throw it out. Better to embrace whatever it is that he wants us to do and trust that things are going to be ok if we do.

The Funny Fruit – Mandarina

So in Spanish it has an extra ‘a’ tacked on to the end. The pronunciation is melodic [mahn – thah – DEE – nah] (the ‘th’ is a quick light touch to the back of your top front teeth with your tongue, and the ‘D’ is aquick light touch to the front of the roof of your mouth with your tongue).

Maybe this is not a rare fruit for you; but where I grew up (Omaha, Nebraska) the only mandarins we knew came in cans and were used to dump in the bottom of Jell-O.

Saturday at the market the stand I buy from had four different kinds of ‘mandarinas’ available. The main difference was the size and juiciness. I chose the ‘hierba buena’ (good herb / weed / grass), the smallest and easiest for the kids to munch on. All mandarins are easy enough for a toddler to peal; which is what is taking place as I type. They are a part of the orange family so are packed with vitamin c. Their fruit is sweet and oh so yummy; though they do have a strong smell when you peal them.

Click here for other “Funny Fruit” posts.

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13 thoughts on “Funny Fruit – Mandarina

  1. It is funny to think you didn’t know what mandarins were! We have them in abundance in the winter in NZ :)

  2. This Nebraskan girl loves a good mandarin. They go great with a spinach salad, actually… with some crumbled bacon and my aunt’s special raspberry vinaigrette. Mmmmm. I digress.
    I’m working on the not throwing things out. I can think of quite a few instances in which I’ve succeeded at accepting God’s “funny fruit” lately, but there are also a few times I should have reacted differently to situations.
    Good thoughts. I’ll have to chew on this one a bit more. [Pun might’ve been intended.]

  3. I love mandarin oranges. If you eat them with salad, you get a whollle lotta iron. The oranges and greens (spinach) do something where you get maximum absorption. Yum yum.

  4. Okay, I was wondering why you weren’t posting…igoogle wasn’t sharing this with me. Glad I wandered over.

    My stomach was angst for you as I read about your hostess! These are great stories.

  5. Roo & Becca – I like mandarins on salad too.

    Brandy – glad you like the fruit posts.

    Danielle – Yeah – I got the feed issue sorted out now. If you try it again on your feed reader and it is still messing up please let me know. Thanks. I am hoping that the others who had trouble that first day of the launch of the site will have the smarts to come back like you. Love you!

  6. A mandrin sure sounds good right about now. I’ve been on a liquid diet with broth, juice, h2o and jello. I get to switch to REAL food this evening. They could feed me slop and I’d be happy!

    And…hubby’s on his way to Starbucks to get me a very small latte!! I just love that guy!

    P.S. My mother and I call my little brother Roo — like Kanga & Roo…His name is Andrew or Andy. (And his wife’s name is Sue…so my kiddos will have an Aunt Sue and Uncle Roo!!!)

  7. Libby – “Ruwe” is the last name of my dear fellow Nebraskan commentess that goes by Roo. I think it is a great nickname.

    And – you have a very nice husband!

  8. I love mandarins but I feel the prepackaged ones that are so prevalent here fail to please me, I had fresh from the farm ones in NZ and could not get enough. I also had fresh Kiwi from the same farm and there is NOTHING like that! So juicy and sweet and tender!!!

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