Many varieties of orange exist today. However, every variety traces its roots to the man-made hybrid created by crossing the pomelo with the mandarin. The pomelo is almost as bitter as the grapefruit, while the mandarin is sweet. The mandarin has an orange color, and some people misidentify it as a variety of the orange. Wrong! The mandarin is an ancestor of the orange.
The history of the orange is unclear, but it is believed to have first appeared in southern China. Over the years, humans have selectively bred oranges to create many varieties, making it easy to confuse the orange with other citrus fruits. To be clear, a fruit needs to have evolved from the pomelo and mandarin to be considered an orange.
A tangerine is not considered an orange because it evolved from the mandarin but not the pomelo. However, the tangelo, which we will talk about shortly, is in a gray area. It is a cross between a tangerine and a pomelo. And as we mentioned already, the tangerine was created from the mandarin.