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Photo Journal: Maturing mandarins


Mandarin oranges are laid inside a mortar-walled storehouse in Kainan, Wakayama Prefecture, to facilitate their maturity, a traditional process for the local specialty called "kuradashi mikan" (oranges fresh from storehouses). The oranges were picked in December last year and have since been stored in crates inside the storehouse, where temperatures and humidity are relatively stable. The ripening process, which takes one to three months, is said to remove extra water from the fruit and enhance its sweet flavor. About 300 farmers with JA Nagamine agricultural cooperative are expected to ship out some 3,000 metric tons of the specialty oranges by early March. (Mainichi)

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