Ode to the Clementine

12.11.2007 | 1:42 pm

A Note from Fatty: A nudge, wink, and acknowledgement of inspiration to Gwadzilla — which I read regularly and you should too — for today’s post.

clementine O Clementine!
You are as orange
As you are spherical
You are
By far and away
The most accessible
Of all fruit

Of course
For the banana

Do not lose heart, Clementine
For while — true — the banana
Is marginally easier to peel
It is in no other way your superior

You are juicier!
You are easily segmented!
You peel almost without effort!
You do not bruise nearly as easily!
My hands smell wonderful after I peel you

Above all
Your brilliant orange color
Shatters the dull grey of the winter sky

The banana cannot do that
As you well know

So let us not speak of the banana
It is as nothing compared to you

O Clementine!
You are so delicious
You are my favorite Wintertime fruit
When I browse the produce section
Of my local supermarket
My heart yearns
And I confess: I salivate copiously

Clementine, please do not think me a glutton
For purchasing a box of you nigh unto each day
And eat, and eat, and eat
As if I were a starving orangutan

I know you will not be here for long
So I get my fill of you now
You, the most exquisite of all fruit

O Clementine!
In a season full of chocolate and cookies
And miscellaneous baked goods
You are the one thing I eat without remorse
And in truth I sometimes eat you
Not as penance but perhaps as an offsetting
for culinary sins earlier in the day

Know now, Clementine
You are more to me
Than a diet food

Clementine, I love thee.
And I shall buy another box of thee
As I return from work

Thank you.


  1. Comment by dug | 12.11.2007 | 1:53 pm

    the rhyme scheme seems all off. and the meter–i can’t follow it. have you been drinking?

  2. Comment by IndoorRolyPoly | 12.11.2007 | 1:58 pm

    I’m not one to fault such good taste in the ready wrapped foods but, dose the clementines have magical powers like the almighty Grapefruit?

  3. Comment by je | 12.11.2007 | 1:59 pm

    wow.and I just ate one!

    mmmmm, clementines

  4. Comment by axel | 12.11.2007 | 2:05 pm

    why has no one invented the grapentine yet? as easy to peel as the clementine (or the banana, but we won’t talk about that), yet as sour and bitter and therefore magical as the grapefruit.

  5. Comment by Jay Parkhill | 12.11.2007 | 2:07 pm

    Word to the fruit.

  6. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 12.11.2007 | 2:08 pm

    ‘And eat, and eat, and eat
    As if I were a starving orangutan’

    Thats gold FC!…..pure gold!

  7. Comment by TIMK | 12.11.2007 | 2:09 pm

    Don’t get me wrong, Clementine.
    You are awesome and all, but you have every reason to envy the banana.
    When is the last time you found yourself in a lovely pudding?
    Or amongst hot fudge, nuts, ice cream, and whipped cream with a bright red cherry on top?
    You may be proud of what you are. Clementine.
    You are quite tasty and convenient, but alas
    You are no banana.

  8. Comment by eclecticdeb | 12.11.2007 | 2:16 pm

    I was the grateful receiver of a box just this week. And man, they were so, so sweet. Almost candylike in their sweetness. Just writing this is making my mouth water — I’m kicking myself for not bringing in a few to work. Damn you!

    Do you suppose if they were here year ’round we’d appreciate them as much?

  9. Comment by mark | 12.11.2007 | 2:17 pm

    Clementines are good, but I’m with TimK in that they’re not as versatile as the banana. Perhaps therein lies the beauty: clementines can be used to atone for dietary sins while bananas can be used to commit them.

  10. Comment by Weean | 12.11.2007 | 2:20 pm

    I hope I don’t speak out of turn here, but I think you’ve been working too hard.

    The banana … it is in no other way your superior

    There were no UK professional cycling teams from the eighties named after the clementine as far as I’m aware. And you’re overlooking the banana’s innate humorous potential (on so many levels). Don’t get me wrong, I like a good clementine, but sheesh!

  11. Comment by Jessi | 12.11.2007 | 2:45 pm

    here here!

  12. Comment by Rick S. | 12.11.2007 | 2:52 pm

    I’m concerned for Elden. Someone needs to check on him or give him something with mayo on it. This is not normal.

  13. Comment by JAT in Seattle | 12.11.2007 | 2:57 pm

    I’ve always found the clementine to be a slightly inconvenient version of the satsuma.

  14. Comment by Jason in Spokane | 12.11.2007 | 3:04 pm

    I’ve been eating Clementines daily for the last month or so too. Bananas no so much.

  15. Comment by KeepYerBag | 12.11.2007 | 3:09 pm

    I really didn’t need to know that you salivate copiously.

  16. Comment by eunicesara | 12.11.2007 | 3:15 pm

    Gee, I thought they were only good for holding boxes in shape until the boxes could be used for a suitable craft. They’re sort of like excelsior – just the packing material. Right? I mean, if you really want to get personal with your citrus it’s the grapefruit by all means. First peel it, then peel the pith, then slice through the tough membrane ( unless you are a serious fiber junkie) to release the delectable juicy chunks which can be savored alone or mixed with avocado (and pomegranite) for the most exquisite mouth feel, and then the membrane squeezed of its last juices for a final draught.
    Clementines. Bah! Miserable, pipsqueak little fruit.

  17. Comment by bikemike | 12.11.2007 | 3:23 pm

    i live in Indian River County Florida, oranges and grapefruits yearlong.
    anybody got a good fruitcake tree they can spare?

  18. Comment by siobhandee | 12.11.2007 | 3:24 pm

    There is no song that goes, “Oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’ Banana-a-a!”

    This is because no fruit is more adorably loveable than the Clementine.

  19. Comment by Big Boned | 12.11.2007 | 3:41 pm

    An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
    Don’t know what the heck a clementine a day does and a little scared to find out what a box a day does. Bet you are sticking close to the bathroom.

  20. Comment by Harp | 12.11.2007 | 3:51 pm

    After reading this I wish I had picked some up at the store.

  21. Comment by my middle name is fred | 12.11.2007 | 4:02 pm

    Clementine, I knew banana. Banana was a friend of mine. You sir, are no banana.

  22. Comment by DNAtsol | 12.11.2007 | 4:41 pm

    OK, My paranoia meter just went haywire. I’m having my house swept for surveillance devices and you Mr. FC are on notice!

    I’ve been eating and loving (not in the biblical sense) clementines to the order of 2+ boxes a week since early November. Fan of Susan says my sweat SMELLS like clementines! You’re freaking me out with this eerie parallel of my life.

    Time to make sure the tinfoil hat is on right.

  23. Comment by Badder | 12.11.2007 | 4:54 pm

    I think Fatty hit his head too.

  24. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 12.11.2007 | 4:57 pm

    Seriously, the pain meds are for SUSAN. Talk about euphoria…

    I’m confused…you’re saying that the 49er’s daugher turned into an orange-like fruite?

    I don’t know that I have ever eaten a clementine (oh my darlin’, oh my darlin’).

  25. Comment by CLBlood | 12.11.2007 | 5:24 pm


  26. Comment by Uphill Battle | 12.11.2007 | 5:32 pm

    Gone bananas….b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

  27. Comment by cheapie | 12.11.2007 | 5:35 pm

    where does one get a box of clementines? at the store? from boy scouts? hmmm????

    and do clementines contain potassium? the cure for a cyclists sore legs?

  28. Comment by cheapie | 12.11.2007 | 5:36 pm

    btw, i’m serious. i really don’t know where people pick them up. i hear people talking about getting their boxes of christmas fruit or their clementines but i don’t know from whence they came.

  29. Comment by Tom Fury | 12.11.2007 | 5:46 pm

    Is anybody else reminded of Huckleberry Hound?

  30. Comment by TIMK | 12.11.2007 | 5:57 pm

    siobhandee: “Come mister tally man tally me clementine? No!” It’s “come mister tally man tally me banana.”

    The banana has been far more inspiring to musicians and comedians than the common clementine, darling as it is.

    FC’s Ode only adds a fraction of the percentage points needed for a Clementine to challenge the far superior banana.

    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaay O!

  31. Comment by fatty | 12.11.2007 | 6:57 pm

    cheapie – you should be able to pick up clementines in the produce section of your local supermarket (don’t know if this is true outside the US). they usually come in mesh bags of a dozen or so, and the mesh bags are protected on 4 sides (bottom, back, left, right) by a cardboard box. you’ve probably seen them before and just ignored them as undersized oranges, but they peel much easier, divide into sections easier, and are often juicier than regular oranges. i love them.

  32. Comment by Steve Nordstrom | 12.11.2007 | 6:58 pm

    This is by far one of your best postings!

    To use the word of the year, w00t!

  33. Comment by cyclingphun.blogspot.com | 12.11.2007 | 7:02 pm

    Damn the sweet muse-like quality of the Clementine! Now I shall have to stop at the store early before work just to get some!
    Rick S (not your real last initial): Mmmmmayo…

  34. Comment by joliver3 | 12.11.2007 | 7:22 pm

    Fatty: “i love them.” No kidding.

    “Starving Orangutan” would make a good name for a band.

  35. Comment by Walter | 12.11.2007 | 7:30 pm

    Methinks there may have been some hallucinogens or other mind-altering substances in that last batch of clementines you picked up — or, put differently, are you losing it??!! ;-)

  36. Comment by Col | 12.11.2007 | 7:34 pm

    I think I tasted a clementine soda once. But what’s the difference between them and a tangerine? Or is it a mandarin orange?

  37. Comment by lt col tim | 12.11.2007 | 7:52 pm

    anybody ever enjoyed a clementine pie? i think not. apples in pie, cider, or just a peck of them whole.

    then the green grape, tiny bits of sweet goodness in its own little tree.

    berries by the bushel by the side of the trail.

    bananas used as a WEAPON! “Attack me with the banana!” (gunshot follows)

    but alas no clemetine you ravanous primate.

  38. Comment by fatty | 12.11.2007 | 7:57 pm

    lt col tim – back in WA, around july / august, you could pick handfuls of blackberries by the side of the trail — delicious. perhaps, next summer, i shall write an ode to the blackberry, most noxious of bushes, most delicious of berry. but right now it’s christmastime, and we should all join as one in celebration of the clementine — ripe, perfect fruit in the season when nothing grows. it’s a christmas miracle!

  39. Comment by Marrock | 12.11.2007 | 8:12 pm

    Grapefruit tastes like pure hate.

  40. Comment by lt col tim | 12.11.2007 | 8:12 pm


    of course i’m thinking of the deliscious berries of the trails down in Lacey where I was fortunate enough to live. i remember stuffing my mouth at trailside bushes in capital state forest. yuuuum!!

    in the interests of the holiday spirit i will demur.

    but berries ohhhh yuuummmm!

  41. Comment by Brandy | 12.11.2007 | 8:54 pm

    I have picked up a box or 2 over the past few weeks myself. I had passed them up before, but the name on the box caught my eye this time. They are called…”Cuties”, no joke.

  42. Comment by bradk | 12.11.2007 | 10:06 pm

    i don’t get it.

  43. Comment by Dutch Girlie On a Bike | 12.11.2007 | 10:50 pm

    “O Clementine!
    In a season full of chocolate and cookies”

    Try a clementine wedge dipped in chocolate fondue! To die for!!

  44. Comment by Little1 | 12.11.2007 | 10:59 pm

    uuuhhhh? is a clementine like a naartjie? if there are any other S.A. folks out there … please help me out here, the poem describes a naartjie. (thats pronounced n-aa-r-ch-ie)

  45. Comment by Alex from ZA | 12.11.2007 | 11:06 pm

    I always wondered what a clementine was. Turns out it’s a naartjie.

    *reads Little 1’s post*

    Yes, it’s a naartjie. They just don’t have nearly as cool a name for it as us.

  46. Comment by will | 12.12.2007 | 12:04 am

    oh little kiwi
    although a fruit peewee
    you’ll always be mine
    begone clementine

  47. Comment by will | 12.12.2007 | 12:22 am

    no I’m not heedless
    that kiwis aren’t seedless
    but they make better wine
    than a dumb clementine

    Sorry Miss Clementine
    (I don’t mean to Blast her)
    But if you eat a kiwi
    You will cycle much faster


    Oh Oh Kiwis are green
    Oh Oh Kiwis I Like
    Oh Oh you know what I mean
    Oh Oh eat when you bike

    oh little kiwi
    although a fruit peewee
    you’ll always be mine
    begone clementine

    Oh Oh Kiwis are green
    Oh Oh Kiwis I Like
    Oh Oh you know what I mean
    Oh Oh eat when you bike

    I wrote this open letter
    that Kiwis are better
    the main reason because
    they don’t come from Oz

  48. Comment by Mike Roadie | 12.12.2007 | 3:31 am

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmm……….Clementines dipped in chocolate……………..

    Besides, Botched and Middle Name Fred took my reactions first!

  49. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 12.12.2007 | 3:57 am

    I assume the ransom note will arrive soon. Someone has abducted FC. While I await his safe return I will just sit here and contemplate my Navel.

  50. Comment by Lowrydr | 12.12.2007 | 5:30 am

    Midwest Ice storm had me off-line for awhile, but I had my box of Clemies to keep me company. Oh so sweet and delicious and the peels make a great addition to the fireplace aroma.

    At least I was warm and comfy till the lights came back on and I discovered I wiped out the whole box. Now have to stop for more on the way home from work.

    Best to Susan and the littles.

  51. Comment by Dave | 12.12.2007 | 6:17 am

    No shit, dude. I could get a crate today at the store and they would almost be gone after two DVDs – that’s how much I love Clementines!

    Hope Susan is feeling good today even though it is cold and damp.



  52. Comment by turnonthejets | 12.12.2007 | 6:39 am

    Did you know that the banana has segments as well? Don’t belive me? Check next time you eat one.

  53. Comment by Mark | 12.12.2007 | 8:36 am

    A starving orangutan, eh? Nice.

  54. Comment by fatty | 12.12.2007 | 9:19 am

    i’m not sure clementines are identical to naartjies. see:


    ps: i have eaten four clementines today so far.

  55. Comment by Morgan | 12.12.2007 | 9:24 am

    Fatty- I’ll jump on the clementine bandwagon if you can figure out how to include them or make them into a parfait/pudding a la the wonderfully delicious banana. Yum.

  56. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.12.2007 | 9:39 am

    .. and I thought I did not need to shop after work today…

    BTW, I racked my brain trying to remember the tune to the Clementine song. siobhandee reminded me with the opening line, “Oh, my darlin’..” Once I remembered the tune, I was devastated to learn that this poem ~ stream of consciousness verse thing that you have written, however funny the lyrics, does not, in fact go to the tune of the song. Devastated, I tell you.

    I have to agree with dug.

    So, this is like gwadzilla’s blog in that there is a clementine-orange working bike photo in today’s selection?

  57. Comment by SSF | 12.12.2007 | 9:50 am

    You’ve got your GWADZ on perfect! Cracked me up! Now you just need to grow some funky ass facial hair over the winter–

  58. Comment by Denise | 12.12.2007 | 9:53 am

    Morgan, you could use them in a delicious trifle…..

    you can substitute the clementines for mandarine Oranges….I also used white chocolate pudding instead of vanilla and since my girls don’t care for raspberries I don’t put those in either

    Now “I’M” in need of clementines!! Thanks guys, lol.

  59. Comment by chtrich | 12.12.2007 | 10:22 am

    “fatty Says:
    December 12th, 2007 at 9:19 am

    ps: i have eaten four clementines today so far. ”

    I’ve eaten 4 donuts so far today……….it’s a good thing my wife bought clementines yesterday. I’ll have to make up for the donuts when I get home.

  60. Comment by BurkeInTheOzarks | 12.12.2007 | 12:06 pm

    Ah, the magical Clementine! A Christmas miracle, indeed. We enjoy a plethora of fruits on an almost daily basis around our house – apples, pears, oranges, bananas, pineapples, strawberries, etc – but the Clementine holds a special place in my heart as well.


  61. Comment by KT | 12.12.2007 | 12:15 pm

    Fatty, you have creative depths unplumbed… until now.

    It’s beautiful, your ode to this fruit. I like ‘em when someone else peels them for me, so I don’t get orange guck under my fingernails.

    Will, your ode to the humble kiwi was amazing. I love kiwis; I would eat a basketful right now. They are great with some fresh whipped cream to dip into. Yummy.

  62. Comment by AMG in Texas | 12.12.2007 | 12:27 pm

    I once got on a “snack on carrots” binge and after a few weeks of that my wife noticed that my skin was turning yellow.

    Does anybody know of someone named Clementine??? I thought not. But who of us knows a na-na?? Kiss your mom for me please.

    Fatty needs to go to a doctor… seek help soon before its too late!!! :-0

  63. Comment by JimB | 12.12.2007 | 1:06 pm

    Just think how much Howard Hughes would have LOVED those clememtine boxes!!!!

  64. Comment by Meaghan | 12.12.2007 | 3:51 pm

    Wow, that definitely just made my week… hahahahah! Thanks!

  65. Comment by Michael P. | 12.13.2007 | 7:28 am

    Because of this post, I purchased a bag of said clementines on the way home last night. You should be sponsored by the Clementine Growers of America. Between Gary Fisher, Twin Six, and now possibly the CGA, your team kit is lookin pretty cool.

  66. Comment by Jimmy | 12.14.2007 | 11:59 am

    “Truth flies like and arrow,
    fruit flies like a banana.”

    Marx bros.


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