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Bright, Juicy Mandarin Oranges Don’t Have to Come From a Can

It’s time for a citrus makeover

There are few things the team at ChefSteps — a food and technology company based in Seattle — like to work their culinary magic with more than Pectinex. Pectin is a natural cell-binding agent found in many plants, and in especially high concentration in citrus fruits; Pectinex is a specialized enzyme used to break down pectin’s structure, a utility ChefSteps harnesses in the kitchen with beautiful results, like clarifying previously pulpy juices. Today’s trick, detailed in the video above, uses the enzyme to yield perfect, shiny, can’t-believe-they-weren’t-canned mandarin orange slices.

Canned mandarin oranges, the darlings of retro Chinese chicken salads and layered fruit desserts, are a 10/10 appearance-wise but often come up short in the flavor department. Fresh mandarin orange segments (or clementine segments, satsuma segments, etc.) taste significantly better, but never look nearly as neat. Pectinex solves the problem by ridding the segments of pith and rind, leaving only the bright, juicy fruit behind, for use in any of your favorite recipes or just to snack on straight from the bowl. Watch the video above, or read along here, to learn more.

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