Feeling cute, might eat later: Tangerines are at the market

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Naomi Peteu has been perfecting the tangerine roll at Doubting Thomas, using zest and juice from the citrus in this cinnamon roll spin. Photo courtesy of Doubting Thomas.

The tangerine rolls at Doubting Thomas in Historic Filipinotown are like a citrus twist on a cinnamon roll. What makes the tangerine rolls so special is how chef/owner Naomi Shim Peteu uses the juice and zest of the Tahoe Gold tangerines from Friend's Ranch in Ojai. Peteu tells market correspondent Ben Mims that their Tahoe Golds are "so juicy right now and they're exploding with flavor. I don't know what is in their soil, but it yields the most delicious tangerines."

So what's in the soil? Tony Thatcher of Friends Ranch says, "It probably has more to do with the micro-climate than the actual soil itself. All citrus likes heat, so you want some hot summer and cool nights. They like the south slope and west slope if it's hilly, and our ranches tend to be hilly in Ojai." 

Tony's daughter Emily Ayala calls the Tahoe Golds "little bags of juice hanging on the trees." She says they're so delicate that if the wind blows the wrong way, the tangerines blow off, and you have to carry them like a bag of eggs.

You can get your hands on Friend's Ranch's Tahoe Gold tangerines along with a range of citrus fruits on Wednesdays at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, Sundays at the Ojai Farmers' Market, and Saturdays at the Santa Barbara Farmers' Market. 

Emily Ayala of Friend’s Ranch says the Tahoe Gold variety of tangerines are delicate and should be handled like a bag of eggs. Photo by Tyler Boudreaux.