February 22, 2021
By Arthur H. Gunther III
Don’t each oranges much any more, or tangerines, as the march of time has made the delectable juice the foe of my system. But once just the peeling of the fruit, with tangy whiff as you pressed the north or south pole to open it made the mouth water. Better than a Three Musketeers bar. Not better than a Tancos Bakery jelly donut, granulated.
My father, who did the grocery shopping since my mother did not drive and also had a 9-5 job, kept the household supplied with fruit, especially the oranges and tangerines of the winter season. Fall would bring Concklin’s apples; summer Hudson Valley peaches.
You began evening television, channels 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11 and the partial on-air 13 out of Newark with an orange or tangerine, pressing your thumb into the pole, maybe getting squirted, taking in the rind’s fragrance, setting the scene for taking apart the fruit, section by section.
My brother did not care for the stringy part covering tangerines in particular, but I enjoyed that, mixing with the juice once you popped a section, much like topping on cereal. Yin and yang.
You would watch a cowboy movie or “I Love Lucy” or whatever was a regular TV staple, orange eaten but rind still on a napkin in your lap. Too many times, on my way to the kitchen, I’d gather up the bits, roll up the napkin and put in my pocket. Then I’d get a glass of water and completely forget about the drying rind.
Almost no problem since the fruit remainder kept its fragrance, and finding the rind the next day was sort of like washing your clothes with the high-priced detergent you get today, orange scent, of course.
The writer is a retired newspaperman.